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Full text of "History of Johnson County, Indiana : from the earliest time to the present, with biographical sketches, notes, etc. together with a short history of the Northwest, the Indiana territory, and the state of Indiana"

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3 1833 00097 6024 

Gc 977.201 J63e.- 
Banta t David Demaree, 168! 
History of Johnson County 












A Reproduction by UNIGRAPHIC, INC. 

4400 Jackson Avenue, Evansville, Indiana 47715 

Nineteen Hundred Seventy 

15c 8522 


After several months'of almost uninterrupted labor, the History of 
Johnson County is completed. In issuing it to our patrons we do 
not claim for it perfection; but that it contains that reasonable de- 
gree of accuracy which only could be expected of us, is confidently 
asserted. The difficulties that surround such an undertaking can 
scarcely be realized by one who has never engaged in work of the 
kind. To reconcile the doubtful and often conflicting statements 
that are so frequently made by those who would seem to be best 
informed, is a task both perplexing and tedious. Yet we believe 
that we have been able to present a history of the county that is as 
nearly complete as reason can demand, and the book exceeds our 
promises in almost every particular. We have endeavored to set 
forth the facts in as concise and unostentatious language as possible, 
believing it is for the facts and not for rhetorical display that the 
book is desired. The mechanical execution and general appear- 
ance of the volume will recommend it, even to the fastidious. The 
arrangement of the matter is such as to render an index almost 
superfluous, as the subject under consideration is at the top of every 
"ight-hand page. For further details the italic subdivisions will 
enable the reader to refer with readiness to any topic. In the spell- 
ing of proper names there is such a wide difference, even among 
members of the same family, and is a matter of so arbitrary a nature, 
that our only guide was each man's desire. Every clew that gave 
promise of important facts connected with the county's history has 
been investigated by those engaged in the work. We believe the 
volume will be favorably received and highly appreciated by those 
for whom it was prepared. Our thanks are due to those who have 
rendered us assistance and to our patrons. 

Chicago, III., October, i883. 


filSt i-histort of Indiana. 

CHAPTER I. page. 

Prehistoric Races 17 

Antiquities 19 

Chinese, The 18 

Discovery by Columbus 33 

Explorations by the Whites 37 

Indians, The 31 

Immigration, The First 18 

Immigration,) The Second 20 

Pyramids, etc The 21 

Relics of the Mound-Builders 23 

Savage Customs 34 

Tartars, The 23 

"Vincennes 39 

Wabash River, The 39 

White Men, The First 37 


National Policies, etc 41 

American Policy, The 46 

Atrocity of the Savages 47 

Burning of Hinton 48 

British Policy, The 4C 

Clark's Expedition 52 

French Scheme, The 41 

Gilbault, Father 65 

Government of the Northwest 67 

Hamilton's Career 64 

Liquor and Gaming Laws 74 

Missionaries, The Catholic 42 

Ordinance of 1787 70 

Pontiac's War 46 

Ruse Against the Indians 64 

Vigo, Francis 6 


Operations Against the Indians 75 

Battle at Peoria Lake 104 

Campaign of Harrison 92 

Cession Treaties 93 

Defeat of St. Clair 79 

Defensive Operations 76 

Expedition of Harcuer 75 

Expedition of Wayne 79 

Expedition of St. (lair 78 

Expedition of Williamson 78 

Fort Miami, Battle of 80 

Harrison and the Indians 87 

Hopkins' Campaign 105 

Kijkapoo Town, Burning of - 78 

Maumee, Battle of. 75 

Massacre at Pigeon Roost 103 

Mississinewa Town, Battle at 1U6 

Oratory, Tecumseh's 114 

Prophet Town, Destruction of 100 

Peace with the Indians 106 

Siege of Fort Wayne 10] 

Siege of Fort Harrison 103 

Tecumseh Ill 

Tippecanoe, Battle of. 98 

War of 1812 101 

War of 1812, Close of the 108 


Organization of Indiana Territory 82 

Bank, Establishment of 120 

Courts, Formation of 120 

County Offices Appointment of. 119 

Corydon, the Capital ... 117 

Gov. Posey 117 

Indiana in 1810 „ 84 

Population in 1815 118 

Territorial Legislature, The First 84 

Western Sun, The 84 

CHAPTER V. , page. 

Organization of the State, etc...., 121 

Amendment, The Fifteenth .-. 147 

Black Hawk War 126 

Constitution, Formation of the 121 

Campaigns Against the Indians 128 

Defeat of Black Hawk 130 

Exodus of the Indians 131 

General Assembly, The First 122 

Guadalupe-Hidalgo, Treaty of. 142 

Harmony Community .". 134 

Indian Titles 132 

Immigration 125 

Lafayette, Action at 127 

Land Sales 133 

Mexican War, The 136 

Slavery 144 


Indiana in the Rebellion 148 

Batteries of Light Infantry i$2 

Battle Record of States 188 

Call to Arms, Tbe 149 

Colored Troops of Indiana 182 

Calls of 1864 177 

Field, In the „ 152 

Independent Cavalry Regiment 181 

Morgan's Raid 170 

Minute-Men 170 

One Hundred Days' Men 176 

Regiments, Formation of 151 

Regiments, Sketch of 153 

Six Months' Regiments 172 


State Affairs After the Rebellion 189 

Agriculture 209 

Coal 207 

Divorce Laws 193 

Finances 194 

Geology v . 205 

Internal Improvements 199 

Indiana Horticultural Society 212 

Indiana Promological Society. 213 

Special Laws 190 

State Bank 196 

State Board of Agriculture 209 

State Expositions 210 

Wealth and Progress 197 


Education and Benevolence 215 

Blind Institute, The 232 

City School System 218 

Compensation of Teachers 220 

Denominational and Private Institutions.... 230 

Deaf and Dumb' Institute 236 

Education 265 

Enumeration of Scholars 219 

Family Worship 252 

Free School System, The 215 

Funds, Management of the 217 

Female Prison and Reformatory 241 

Houseof Refuge, The 243 

Insane Hospital, The 238 

Northern Indiana Normal School 229 

Origin of School Funds 221 

Purdue University 224 

School Statistics 218 

State University, The 222 

State Normal School , 228 

State Prison, South' 239 

State Prison, North' 240 

Total School Funds 220 




Indian History — Pre-historic Races— Early 
Indian Occupants — The Miamis, Their 
Habits and Characteristics — Indian Rel- 
ics—The Delawares— Their Residence in 
Indiana — Remnants from Other Tribes 

— Last of the Red Men 277 


Early Settlements — Territorial Times — 
Traces and Early Roads— The Whetzels— 
The Bluffs— Struggle for the State Capi- 
tol—First Permanent Settlement^Story 
of the Settlement by Townships — The 
"White and Blue River Settlements — 
Founding Franklin — Reminiscences.. . 290 


The Pioneers — Where They Came From— 
Who They Were — Arrival in the New 
Country — Deserted Cabins — Architec- 
ture of the Early Homes— Modes of 
Travel — Hardships of New Comers 
—Domestic Animals— Mast — Hog Steal- 
ing — Situation of New Homes — Primi- 
tive Tools — Mode of Farming — Hunt- 
ing Incidents — Woman's Work — Doc- 
tors and Diseases — Morals, Social Cus- 
toms, Etc , 326 


Schools — Early Legislative Acts in Rela- 
tion to — Examination and Qualifica- 
tions of Early Teachers — Primitive 
Buildings and Methods — First Schools 

— List of Early Pedagogues— Later and 
More Improved Methods — Provisions of 
New Constitution — Present School Cen- 
sus — Franklin College 361 


Bench and Bar — Circuit Court— Its Judges 
and Officers — First Sessions — Early 
Cases — Probate Court — Courts Under 
the New Constitution — Common Pleas 

— Fluctuation of Litigation — Circuit 
Judges and Prosecuting Attorneys — 
Early Attorneys 389 


Geology — Situation and Boundary — Top- 
ography — Connected Section — Recent 
Geology — Paleozoic Geology 462 


Towns — Franklin— Early Business Men and 
Residents — Incorporation — Officers — 
Industries — Banks— The Press — Secret 
Societies — Loan Associations — Edinburg 

— Greenwood — Williamsburgh— Trafal- 
gar — Whiteland— Union Village— Other 
Small Villages 504 


County Organization — Organic Act — Lo- 
cating County Seat — Sale of Lots — 
Public Buildings — Methods of Doing 
County Business — Finances — Poor Ex- 
penses — Creation of Townships — Elec- 
tions — County Officers — Roads —Medi- 
cal Societies, Etc 680 

Military History — Early Militia — Black 
Hawk War — Mexican War — Civil War 

— Sentiments in 1860 — First Troops — 
Sketches of Regiments — Sentiment in 
1863— Bounty and Relief— Men Furnished 
for the War — Roll of Honor 726 


Religious History— Presbyterian Churches 
at Franklin, Greenwood, Whiteland, Shi- 
loh, Hopewell, Edinburg, and Others — 
Baptist Churches at Franklin, Green- 
wood, Amity, Mt. Zion, Trafalgar, Mt. 
Pleasant, Edinburg, and Other Points- 
Christian Churches of the County — 
Methodists — Catholics 837 

In order to find any particular biographical 
sketch, refer to the township in which the per- 
son lives, where they will be found in alphabeti- 
cal order. The sketches for each township be- 
gin as follows: 

Blue River Township 399 

Clark Township 475 

Franklin — City and Township 579 

Hensley Township 697 

Needham Township 719 

Nineveh Township 743 

Pleasant Township: 767 

Union Township 875 

White River Township 884 


D. D. Banta Frontispiece 

William McCaslin Facing 275 




Scientists have ascribed to the Mound Builders varied origins 
and though their divergence of opinion may for a time seem incom- 
patible with a thorough investigation of the subject, and tend to 
a confusion of ideas, no doubt whatever can exist as to the compar- 
ative accuracy of conclusions arrived at by some of them. Like 
the vexed question of the Pillar Towers of Ireland, it has caused 
much speculation, and elicited the opinions of so many learned 
antiquarians, ethnologists and travelers, that it will not be found 
beyond the range of possibility to make deductions that may 
suffice to solve the problem who were the prehistoric settlers of 
America. To achieve this it will not be necessary to go beyond the 
period over which Scripture history extends, or to indulge in those 
airy flights of imagination so sadly identified with occasional 
writers of even the Christian school, and all the accepted literary 
exponents of modern paganism. 

That this continent is co-existent with the world of the ancients 
cannot be questioned. Every investigation, instituted under the 
auspices of modern civilization, confirms the fact and leaves no 
channel open through which the skeptic can escape the thorough 
refutation of his opinions. China, with its numerous living testi- 
monials of antiquity, with its ancient, though limited literature 
and its Babelish superstitions, claims a continuous history from 
antediluvian times; but although its continuity may be denied 
with every just reason, there is nothing to prevent the transmission 
of a hieroglyphic record of its history prior to 1656 anno mundi, 
since many traces of its early settlement survived the Deluge, and 
became sacred objects of the first historical epoch. This very sur- 
vival of a record, such as that of which the Chinese boast, is not 
at variance with the designs of a God who made and ruled the 
universe; but that an antediluvian people inhabited this continent, 


will not be claimed; because it is not probable, though it may be 
possible, that a settlement in a land which may be considered a 
portion of the. Asiatic continent, was effected by the immediate 
followers of the first progenitors of the human race. Therefore, on 
entering the study of the ancient people who raised these tumu- 
lus monuments over large tracts -of the country, it will be just 
sufficient to wander back to that time when the flood-gates of 
heaven were swung open to hurl destruction on a wicked world; 
and in doing so the inquiry must be based on legendary, or rather 
upon many circumstantial evidences; for, so far as written narra- 
tive extends, there is nothing to show that a movement of people 
too far east resulted in a Western settlement. 


The first and most probable sources in which the origin of the 
Builders must be sought, are those countries lying along the east- 
ern coast of Asia, which doubtless at that time stretched far beyond 
its present limits, and presented a continuous shore from Lopatka 
to Point Cambodia, holding a population comparatively civilized, 
and all professing some elementary form of the Boodhism of later 
days. Those peoples, like the Chinese of the present, were bound 
to live at home, and probably observed that law until after the con- 
fusion of languages and the dispersion of the builders of Babel in 
1757, a. m.; but subsequently, within the following century, the 
old Mongolians, like the new, crossed the great ocean in the very 
paths taken by the present representatives of the race, arrived on 
the same shores, which now extend a very questionable hospitality 
to them, and entered at once upon the colonization of the country 
south and east, while the Caucasian race engaged in a similar move- 
ment of exploration and colonization over what may be justly 
termed the western extension of Asia, and both peoples growing 
stalwart under the change, attained a moral and physical eminence 
to which they never could lay claim under the tropical sun which 
shed its beams upon the cradle of the human race. 

That mysterious people who, like the Brahmins of to-day, wor- 
shiped some transitory deity, and in after years, evidently embraced 
the idealization of Boodhism, as preached in Mongolia early in the 
35th century of the world, together with acquiring the learning of 
the Confucian and Pythagorean schools of the same period, spread 
all over the land, and in their numerous settlements erected these 
raths, or mounds, and sacrificial altars whereon they received ther 


periodical visiting gods, surrendered their bodies to natural absorp- 
tion or annihilation, and watched ior the return of some transmi- 
grated soul, the while adoring the universe, which with all beings 
they believed would be eternally existent. They possessed religiour 
orders corresponding in external show at least with the Essenes c*- 
Theraputse of the pre-Christian and Christian epochs, and to the 
reformed Theraputse or monks of the present. Every memento 
of their coming and their stay which has descended to us is an evi- 
dence of their civilized condition. The free copper found within 
the tumuli; the open veins of the Superior and Iron Mountain 
copper-mines, with all the modus operandi of ancient mining, such 
as ladders, levers, chisels, and hammer-heads, discovered by the 
French explorers of the Northwest and the Mississippi, are conclu- 
sive proofs that those prehistoric people were highly civilized, and 
that many flourishing colonies were spread throughout the Missis- 
sippi valley, while yet the mammoth, the mastodon, and a hundred 
other animals, now only known by their gigantic fossil remains, 
guarded the eastern shore of the continent as it were against sup- 
posed invasions of the Tower Builders who went west from Babel; 
while yet the beautiful isles of the Antilles formed an integral 
portion of this continent, long years before the European Northman 
dreamed of setting forth to the discovery of Greenland and the 
northern isles, and certainly at a time when all that portion of 
America north of latitude 45° was an ice-incumbered waste. 

Within the last few years great advances have been made toward 
the discovery of antiquities whether pertaining to remains of organic 
or inorganic nature. Together with many email, but telling 
relics of the early inhabitants of the country, the fossils of pre- 
historic animals have been unearthed from end to end of the land, 
and in districts, too, long pronounced by geologists of some repute 
to be without even a vestige of vertebrate fossils. Among the 
collected souvenirs of an age about which so very little is known, 
are twenty-five vertebrae averaging thirteen inches in diameter, , 
and three vertebras ossified together measure nine cubical feet; a 
thigh-bone five feet long by twenty-eight, by twelve inches in 
diameter, and the shaft fourteen by eight inches thick, the entire 
lot weighing 600 lbs. These fossils are presumed to belong to the 
cretaceous period, when the Dinosaur roamed over the country from 
East to West, desolating the villages of the people. This animal 
is said to have been 6ixty feet long, and when feeding in cypress 
and palm forests, to extend himself eighty-five feet, so that he may 


devour the budding tops of those great trees. Other efforts in this 
direction may lead to great results, and culminate probably in the 
discovery of a tablet engraven by some learned Mound Builder, 
describing in the ancient hieroglyphics of China all these men and 
beasts whose history excites so much speculation. The identity of 
the Mound Builders with the Mongolians might lead us to hope 
for such a consummation; nor is it beyond the range of probability, 
particularly in this practical age, to find the future labors of some 
industrious antiquarian requited by the upheaval of a tablet, written 
in the Tartar characters of 1700 years ago, bearing on a subject 
which can now be treated only on a purely circumstantial basis. 


may have begun a few centuries prior to the Christian era, and 
unlike the former expedition or expeditions, to have traversed north- 
eastern Asia to its Arctic confines, and then east to the narrow 
channel now known as Behring's Straits, which they crossed, and 
sailing up the "unchanging Yukon, settled under the shadow of 
Mount St. Elias for many years, and pushing South commingled 
with their countrymen, soon acquiring the characteristics of the 
descendants of the first colonists. Chinese chronicles tell of such 
a people, who went North and were never heard of more. Circum- 
stances conspire to render that particular colony the carriers of a 
new religious faith and of an alphabetic system of a representative 
character to the old colonists, and they, doubtless, exercised a most 
beneficial influence- in other respects ; because the influx of immi- 
grants of such culture as were the Chinese, even of that remote 
period, must necessarily bear very favorable results, not only in 
bringing in reports of their travels, but also accounts from the 
fatherland bearing on the latest events. 

With the idea of a second and important exodus there are many 
theorists united, one of whom says: "It is now the generally 
received opinion that the first inhabitants of America passed over 
from Asia through these straits. The number of small islands 
lying between both continents renders this opinion still more 
probable; and it is yet farther confirmed by some remarkable traces 
of similarity in the physical conformation of the northern natives 
of both continents. The Esquimaux of North America, the 
Samoieds of Asia, and the Laplanders of Europe, are supposed to 
be of the same family; and this supposition is strengthened by the 
affinity which exists in their languages. The researches of Hum- 


boldt have traced the Mexicans to the vicinity of Behring's Straits; 
whence it is conjectured that they, as well as the Peruvians and 
other tribes, came originally from Asia, and were the Hiongnoos, 
who are, in the Chinese annals, said to have emigrated under Puno, 
and to have been lost in the North of Siberia." 

Since this theory is accepted by most antiquaries, there is every 
reason to believe that from the discovery of what may be called an 
overland route to what was then considered an eastern extension of 
that country which is now known as the " Celestial Empire," many 
caravans of emigrants passed to their new homes in the land of 
illimitable possibilities until the way became a well-marked trail 
over which the Asiatic might travel forward, and having once 
entered the Elysian fields never entertained an idea of returning. 
TJius from generation to generation the tide of immigration poured 
in until the slopes of the Pacific and the banks of the great inland 
rivers became hives of busy industry. Magnificent cities and 
monuments were raised at the bidding of the tribal leaders and 
populous settlements centered with happy villages sprung up 
everywhere in manifestation of the power and wealth and knowl- 
edge of the people. The colonizing Caucasian of the historic 
period walked over this great country on the very ruins of a civil- 
ization which a thousand years before eclipsed all that of which he 
could boast. He walked through the wilderness of the West over 
buried treasures hidden under the accumulated growth of nature, 
nor rested until he saw, with great surprise, the remains of ancient 
pyramids and temples and cities, larger and evidently more beauti- 
ful than ar c.:.t Egypt could bring forth after its long years of 
uninterrupted history. The pyramids resemble those of Egypt in 
exterior form, and in some instances are of larger dimensions. The 
pyramid of Cholula is square, having each side of its base 1,335 
feet in length, and its height about 172 feet. Another pyramid? 
situated in the north of Yera Cruz, is formed of large blocks 
of highly-polished porphyry, and bears upon its front hiero- 
glyphic inscriptions and curious sculpture. Each side of its 
square base is 82 feet in length, and a flight of 57 steps conducts to 
its summit, which is 65 feet in height. The ruins of Palenque are 
said to extend 20 miles along the ridge of a mountain, and the 
remains of an Aztec city, near the banks of the river Gila, are 
spread over more than a square league. Their literature consisted 
of hieroglyphics; but their arithmetical knowledge did not extend 
farther than their calculations by the aid of grains of corn. Yet, 


notwithstanding all their varied accomplishments, and they were 
evidently many, their notions of religious duty led to a most demo- 
niac zeal at once barbarously savage and ferociously cruel. Each 
visiting, god instead of bringing new life to the people, brought 
death to thousands; and their grotesque idols, exposed to drown 
the senses of the beholders in fear, wrought wretchedness rather 
than spiritual happiness, until, as some learned and humane Monte- 
zumian said, the people never approached these idols without fear, 
and this fear was the great animating principle, the great religious 
motive power which sustained the terrible religion. Their altars 
were sprinkled with blood drawn from their own bodies in large 
quantities, and on them thousands of human victims were sacri- 
ficed in honor of the demons whom they worshiped. The head 
and heart of every captive taken in war were offered up as a bloody 
sacrifice to the god of battles, while the victorious legions feasted 
on the remaining portions of the dead bodies. It has been ascer- 
tained that during the ceremonies attendant on the consecration of 
two of their temples, the number of prisoners offered up in sacri- 
fice was 12,210; while their own legions contributed voluntary 
victims to the terrible belief in large numbers. Nor did this 
horrible custom cease immediately after 1521, when Cortez entered 
the imperial city of the Montezumas; for, on being driven from 
it, all his troops who fell into the hands of the native soldiers were 
subjected to the mo6t terrible and prolonged suffering that could be 
experienced in this world, and when about to yield up that spirit 
which is indestruotible, were offered in sacrifice, their hearts and 
heads consecrated, and the victors allowed to feast on the yet warm 

A reference is made here to the period when the Montezumas 
ruled over Mexico, simply to gain a better idea of the hideous 
idolatry which took the place of the old Boodhism of the Mound 
Builders, and doubtless helped in a great measure to give victory 
to the new comers, even as the tenets of Mahometanism urged the 
ignorant followers of the prophet to the conquest of great nations. 
It was not the faith of the people who built the mounds and the 
pyramids and the temples, and who, 200 years before the Christian 
era, built the great wall of jealous China. No: rather was it that 
terrible faith born of the Tartar victory, which carried the great 
defenses of China at the point of the javelin and hatchet, who 
afterward marched to the very walls of Rome, under Alaric, and 


spread over the islands of Polynesia to the Pacific slopes of South 


came there, and, like the pure Mongols of Mexico and the Missis- 
sippi valley, rose to a state of civilization bordering on that attained 
by them. Here for centuries the sons of the fierce Tartar race con- 
tinued to dwell in comparative peace until the all-ruling ambition 
of empire took in the whole country from the Pacific to the Atlan- 
tic, and peopled the vast territory watered by the Amazon with a 
race that was destined to conquer all the peoples of the Orient, 
and only to fall before the march of the arch-civilizing Caucasian. 
In course of time those fierce Tartars pushed their settlements 
northward, and ultimately entered the territories of the Mound 
Builders, putting to death all who fell within their reach, and 
causing the survivors of the death-dealing invasion to seek a refuge 
from the hordes of this semi-barbarous people in the wilds and fast- 
nesses of the North and Northwest. The beautiful country of the 
Mound Builders was now in the hands of savage invaders, the quiet, 
industrious people who raised the temples and pyramids were gone; 
and the wealth of intelligence and industry, accumulating forages, 
passed into the possession of a rapacious horde, who could admire 
it only so far as it offered objects for plunder. Even in this the 
invaders were satisfied, and then having arrived at the height of 
their ambition, rested on their swords and entered upon the luxury 
and ease in the enjoyment of which they were found when the van- 
guard of European civilization appeared upon the scene. Mean- 
time the southern countries which those adventurers abandoned 
after having completed their conquests in the North, were soon 
peopled by hundreds of people, always moving from island to 
island and ultimately halting amid the ruins of villages deserted 
by those who, as legends tell, had passed eastward but never returned; 
and it would scarcely be a matter for surprise if those emigrants 
were found to be the progenitors of that race found by the Spaniards 
in 1532, and identical with the Araucanians, Cuenches and Huil- 
tiches of to-day. 


One of the most brilliant and impartial historians of the Republic 
stated that the valley of the Mississippi contained no monuments. 
So far as the word is entertained now, he was literally correct, but 


in some hasty effort neglected to qualify his sentence by a refer- 
ence to the numerous relics of antiquity to be found throughout 
its length and breadth, and so exposed his chapters to criticism. 
The valley of the Father of Waters, and indeed the country from 
the trap rocks of the Great Lakes southeast to the G.ulf and south- 
west to Mexico, abound in tell-tale monuments of a race of people 
-much farther advanced in civilization than the Montezumas of the 
sixteenth century. The remains of walls and fortifications found 
in Kentucky and Indiana, the earthworks of Yincennes and 
throughout the valley of the Wabash, the mounds scattered over 
Alabama, Florida, Georgia and Virginia, and those found in Illi- 
nois, Wisconsin and Minnesota, are all evidences of the univer- 
sality of the Chinese Mongols and of their advance toward a com- 
parative knowledge of man and cosmology. At the mouth of 
Fourteen -Mile creek, in Clark county, Indiana, there stands one of 
tbe?e old monuments known as the " Stone Fort." It is an 
unmistakable heirloom of a great and ancient people, and must 
have formed one of their most important posts. The State Geolo- 
gist's report, filed among the records of the State and furnished 
by Prof. Cox, says: "At the mouth of Fourteen-Mile creek, and 
about three miles from Charleston, the county-seat of Clark county, 
there is one of the most remarkable stone fortifications which has 
ever come under my notice. Accompanied by my assistant, Mr. 
Borden, and a number of citizens of Charleston, I visited the 'Stone 
Fort' for the purpose of making an examination of it. The locality 
selected for this fort presents many natural advantages for making 
it impregnable to the opposing forces of prehistoric times. It 
occupies the point of an elevated narrow ridge which faces the 
Ohio river on the east and is bordered by Fourteen-Mile creek on 
the west side. Thie creek empties into the Ohio a short distance 
below the fort. The top of the ridge is pear-shaped, with the 
part answering to the neck at the north end. This part is not 
over twenty feet wide, and is protected by precipitous natural walls 
of stone. It is 280 feet above the level of the Ohio river, and the 
slope is very gradual to the south. At the upper field it is 240 feet 
high and one hundred steps wide. At the lower timber it is 120 
feet high. The bottom land at the foot of the south end is sixty 
feet above the river. Along the greater part of the Ohio river 
front there is an abrupt escarpment rock, entirely too steep to be 
scaled, and a similar natural barrier exists along a portion of the 
northwest side of the ridge, facing the creek. This natural wall 


is joined to the neck of an artificial wall, made by piling up, mason 
fashion but without mortar, loose stone, which had evidently been 
pried up from the carboniferous layers of rock. This made wall, at 
this point, is about 150 feet long. It is built along the slope of the 
hill and had an elevation of about 75 feet above its base, the upper 
ten feet being vertical. The inside of the wall is protected by a 
ditch. The remainder of the hill is protected by an artificial stone 
wall, built in the same manner, but not more than ten feet high. 
The elevation of the side wall above the creek bottom is 80 feet. 
"Within the artificial walls is a string of mounds which rise to the 
height of the wall, and are protected from the washing of the hill- 
sides by a ditch 20 feet wide and four feet deep. The position of 
the artificial walls, natural cliffs of bedded stone, as well as that of 
the ditch and mounds, are well illustrated. The top of the enclosed 
ridge embraces ten or twelve acres, and there are as many as five 
mounds that can be recognized on the flat surface, while no doubt 
many others existed which have been obliterated by time, and 
though the agency of man in his efforts to cultivate a portion of 
the ground. A trench was cut into one of these mounds in search 
of relics. A few fragments of charcoal and decomposed bones, and 
a large irregular, diamond-shaped boulder, with a small circular 
indentation near the middle of the upper part, that was worn quite 
smooth by the use to which it had been put, and the small pieces 
of fossil coral, comprised all the articles of note which were revealed 
by the excavation. The earth of which the mound is made resem- 
bles that seen on the hillside, and was probably in most part taken 
from the ditch. The margin next to the ditch was protected by 
slabs of stone set on edge, and leaning at an angle corresponding to 
the slope of the mound. This stone shield was two and one-half 
feet wide and one foot high. At intervals along the great ditch 
there are channels formed between the mounds that probably served 
to carry off the surplus water through openings in the outer wall. 
On the top of the enclosed ridge, and near its narrowest part, there 
is one mound much larger than any of the others, and so situated 
as to command an extensive view up and down the Ohio river, as well 
as affording an unobstructed view east and west. This is designated 
as ' Look-out Mound.' There is near it a slight break in the cliff 
of rock, which furnished a narrow passage way to the Ohio river. 
Though the locality afforded many natural advantages for a fort or 
stronghold, one is compelled to admit that much skill was displayed 
and labor expended in making its defense as perfect as possible at 


all points. Stone axes, pestles, arrow-heads, spear-points, totums, 
charms and flint flakes have been found in great abundance in 
plowing the field at the foot of the old fort." 

From the " Stone Fort " the Professor turns his steps to Posey 
county, at a point on the Wabash, ten miles above the mouth, 
called "Bone Bank," on account of the number of human bones 
continually washed out from the river bank. " It is," he states 
" situated in a bend on the left bank of the river; and the ground 
is about ten feet above high-water mark, being the only land along 
this portion of the river that is not submerged in seasons of high 
water. The bank slopes gradually back from the river to a slough. 
This slough now seldom contains water, but no doubt at one time 
it was an arm of the Wabash river, which flowed around the Bone 
Bank and afforded protection to the island home of the Mound 
Builders. The Wabash has been changing its bed for many years, 
leaving a broad extent of newly made land on the right shore, and 
gradually making inroads on the left shore by cutting away the 
Bone Bank. The stages of growth of land on the right bank of the 
river are well defined by the cotton wood trees, which increase in size 
as you go back from the river. Unless there is a change in the cur- 
rent of the river, all trace of the Bone Bank will be obliterated. 
Already within the memory of the white inhabitants, the bank has 
been removed to the width of several hundred yards. As the bank 
is cut by the current of the river it loses its support, and when the 
water sinks it tumbles over, carrying with it the bones of the 
Mound Builders and the cherished articles buried with them. No 
locality in the country furnishes a greater number and variety of 
relics than this. It has proved especially rich in pottery of 
quaint design and skillful workmanship. I have a number of jugs 
and pots and a cup found at the Bone Bank. This kind of work 
has been very abundant, and is still found in such quantities that 
we are led to conclude that its manufacture formed a leading indus- 
try of the inhabitants of the Bone Bank. It is not in Europe 
alone that we find a well-founded claim of high antiquity for the 
art of making hard and durable stone by a mixture of clay, lime, 
sand and stone; for I am convinced that this art was possessed by 
a race of people who inhabited this continent at a period so remote 
that neither tradition nor history can furnish any account of them. 
They belonged to the Neolithic, or polished-stone, age. They lived 
in towns and built mounds for sepulture and worship and pro- 
tected their homes by surrounding them with walls of earth and 



stone. In some of these mounds specimens of various kinds of 
pottery, in a perfect state of preservation, have from time to time 
been found, and fragments are so common that every student of 
archaeology can have a bountiful supply. Some of these fragments 
indicate vessels of very great size. At the Saline springs of Gal- 
latin I picked up fragments that indicated, by their curvature, ves- 
sels five to six feet in diameter, and it is probable they are frag- 
ments of artificial stone pans used to hold brine that was manufac- 
tured into salt by solar evaporation. . 

" Now, all the pottery belonging to the Mound Builders' age, 
which I have seen, is composed of alluvial clay and sand, or a mix- 
ture of the former with pulverized fresh-water shells. A paste 
made of such a mixture possesses, in high degree, the properties of 
hydraulic Puzzuoland and Portland cement, so that vessels formed 
of it hardened without being burned, as is customary with modern 

The Professor deals very aptly with this industry of the aborig- 
ines, and concludes a very able disquisition on the Bone Bank in 
its relation to the prehistoric builders. 


The great circular redoubt or earth-work found two miles west ot 
the village of New Washington, and the " Stone Fort," on a ridge 
one mile west of the village of Deputy, offer a subject for the anti- 
quarian as deeply interesting as any of the monuments of a 
decayed empire so far discovered. 


From end to end of Indiana there are to be found many other rel- 
ics of the ooscure past. Some of them have been unearthed and now 
appear among the collected antiquities at Indianapolis. The highly 
finished sandstone pipe, the copper ax, stone axes, flint arrow-heads 
and magnetic plummets found a few years ago beneath the soil of 
Cut-Off Island near New Harmony, together with the pipes of rare 
workmanship and undoubted age, unearthed near Covington, all 
live as it were in testimony of their owner's and maker's excel- 
lence, and hold a share in the evidence of the partial annihilation 
of a race, with the complete disruption of its manners, customs 
and industries; and it is possible that when numbers of these relics 
are placed together, a key to the phonetic or rather hieroglyphic 
system of that remote period might be evolved. 

It may be asked what these hieroglyphical characters really are„ 
Well, they are varied in form, so much so that the pipes found in 
the mounds of Indians, each bearing a distinct representation of 
some animal, may be taken for one species, used to represent the 
abstract ideas of the Mound Builders. The second form consists 
of pure hieroglyphics or phonetic characters, in which the sound is 
represented instead of the object; and the third, or painted form of 
the first, conveys to the mind that which is desired to be repre- 
sented. This form exists among the Cree Indians of the far North- 
west, at present. They, when departing from their permanent vil- 
lages for the distant hunting grounds, paint on the barked trees in 
the neighborhood the figure of a snake or eagle, or perhaps huskey 
dog; and this animal is supposed to guard the position until the 
warrior's return, or welcome any friendly tribes that may arrive 
there in the interim. In the case of the Mound Builders, it is un- 
likely that this latter extreme was resorted to, for the simple reason 
that the relics of their occupation are too high in the ways of art to 
tolerate such a barbarous science of language; but the sculptured 
pipes and javelins and spear-heads of the Mound Builders may be 
taken as a collection of graven images, each conveying a set of 
ideas easily understood, and perhaps sometimes or more generally 
used to designate the vocation, name or character of the owner. 
That the builders possessed an alphabet of a phonetic form, and 
purely hieroglyphic, can scarcely be questioned; but until one or 
more of tiie unearthed tablets, which bore all or even a portion of 
such characters, are raised from their centuried graves, the mystery 
which surrounds this people must remain, while we must dwell in 
a world of mere speculation. 



Vigo, Jasper, Sullivan, Switzerland and Ohio counties can boast 
of a most liberal endowment in this relation; and when in other 
days the people will direct a minute inquiry, and penetrate to the 
very heart of the thousand cones which are scattered throughout 
the land, they may possibly extract the blood in the shape of metal- 
lic and porcelain works, with hieroglyphic tablets, while leaving 
the form of heart and body complete to entertain and delight un- 
born generations, who in their time will wonder much when they 
learn that an American people, living toward the close of the 59th 
century, could possibly indulge in such an anachronism as is iiu- 
plied in the term "New World." 


The origin of the Red Men, or American Indians, is a subject 
which interests as well as instructs. It is a favorite with the eth- 
nologist, even as it is one of deep concern to the ordinary reader. 
A review of two works lately published on the origin of the Indiana 
treats the matter in a peculiarly reasonable light. It says: 

" Recently a German writer has put forward one theory on the 
subject, and an English writer has put forward another and directly 
opposite theory. The difference of opinion concerning our aborig- 
inals among authors who have made a profound study of races is at 
once curious and interesting. Blumenbach treats them in his 
classifications as a distinct variety of the human family; but, in the 
threefold division of Dr. Latham, they are ranked among the Mon- 
golidae. Other writers on race regard them as a branch of the great 
Mongolian family, which at a distant period found its way from 
Asia to this continent, and remained here for centuries separate 
from the rest of mankind, passing, meanwhile, through divers 
phases of barbarism and civilization. Morton, our eminent eth- 
nologist, and his followers, Nott and Gliddon, claim for our native 
Red Men an origin as distinct as the flora and fauna of this conti- 
nent. Prichard, whose views are apt to differ from Morton's, finds 
reason to believe, on comparing the American tribes together, that 
they must have formed a separate department of nations from the 
earliest period of the world. The era of their existence as a distinct 
and insulated people must probably be dated back to the time 
which separated into nations the inhabitants of the Old World, and 
gave to each its individuality and primitive language. Dr. Rooert 
Brown, the latest authority, attributes, in his " Races of Mankind," 
an Asiatic origin to our aboriginals. He says that the Western In- 
dians not only personally resemble their nearest neighbors — the 
Northeastern Asiatics — but they resemble them in language and 
traditions. The Esquimaux on the American and the Tchuktchis 
on the Asiatic side understand one another perfectly. Modern an- 


thropologists, indeed, are disposed to think that Japan, the Kuriles, 
and neighboring regions, may be regarded as the original home of 
the greater part of the native American race. It is also admitted 
by them that between the tribes scattered from the Arctic sea to 
Cape Horn there is more uniformity of physical features than is 
seen in any other quarter of the globe. The weight of evidence 
and authority is altogether in favor of the opinion that our so- 
called Indians are a branch of the Mongolian family, and all addi- 
tional researches strengthen the opinion. The tribes of both North 
and South America are unquestionably homogeneous, and, in all 
likelihood, had their origin in Asia, though they have been altered 
and modified by thousands of years of total separation from the 
parent stock." 

The conclusions arrived at by the reviewer at that time, though 
safe, are too general to lead the reader to form any definite idea on 
the subject. No doubt whatever can exist, when the American In- 
dian is regarded as of an Asiatic origin; but there is nothing in the 
works or even in the review, to which these works were subjected, 
which might account for the vast difference in manner and form 
between the Red Man, as he is now known, or even as he appeared 
to Columbus and his successors in the field of discovery, and the 
comparatively civilized inhabitants of Mexico, as seen in 1521 by 
Cortez, and of Peru, as witnessed by Pizarro in 1532. The fact is 
that the pure bred Indian of the present is descended directly 
from the earliest inhabitants, or in other words from the survivors 
of that people who, on being driven from their fair possessions, re- 
tired to the wilderness in sorrow and reared up their children under 
the saddening influences of their unquenchable griefs, bequeathing 
them only the habits of the wild, cloud-roofed home of their de- 
clining years, a sullen silence, and a rude moral code. In after 
years these wild sons of the forest and prairie grew in numbers and 
in strength. Some legend told them of their present sufferings, of 
the station which their fathers once had known, and of the riotous 
race which now reveled in wealth which should be theirs. The 
fierce passions of the savage were aroused, and uniting their scat- 
tered bands marched in silence upon the villages of the Tartars, 
driving them onward to the capital of their Incas, and consigning 
their homes to the flames. Once in view of the great city, the 
hurrying bands halted in surprise; but Tartar cunning took in the 
situation and offered pledges of amity, which were sacredly ob- 
served. Henceforth Mexico was open to the Indians, bearing pre- 
cisely the same relation to them that the Hudson's Bay Company's 


villages do to the Northwestern Indians of the present ; obtaining 
all, and bestowing very little. The subjection of the Mongolian 
race represented in North America by that branch of it to which 
the Tartars belonged, represented in the Southern portion of the con- 
tinent, seems to have taken place some five centuries before the 
advent of the European, while it may be concluded that the war of 
the races which resulted in reducing the villages erected by the 
Tartar hordes to ruin took place between one and two hundred 
3?ears later. These statements, though actually referring to events 
which in point of time are comparatively modern, can only be sub- 
stantiated by the facts that, about the periods mentioned the dead 
bodies of an unknown race of men were washed ashore on the Eu- 
ropean coasts, while previous to that time there is no account 
whatever in European annals of even a vestige of trans- Atlantic hu- 
manity being transferred by ocean currents to the gaze of a won- 
dering people. Towards the latter half ot the 15th century two 
dead bodies entirely free from decomposition, and corresponding 
with the Red Men as they afterward appeared to Columbus, were 
cast on the shores of the Azores, and confirmed Columbus in his be- 
lief in the existence of a western world and western people. 

Storm and flood and disease have created sad havoc in the ranks 
of the Indian since the occupation of the country by the white man. 
These natural causes have conspired to decimate the race even more 
than the advance of civilization, which seems not to affect it to any 
material extent. In its maintenance of the same number of rep- 
resentatives during three centuries, and its existence in the very 
face of a most unceremonious, and, whenever necessary, cruel con- 
quest, the grand dispensations of the unseen Ruler of the universe 
is demonstrated; for, without the aborigines, savage and treach- 
erous as they were, it is possible that the explorers of former times 
would have so many natural difficulties to contend with, that their 
work would be surrendered in despair, and the most fertile regions 
of the continent saved for the plowshares of generations yet un- 
born. It is questionable whether we owe the discovery of this con- 
tinent to the unaided scientific knowledge of Columbus, or to the 
dead bodies of the two Indians referred to above; nor can their ser- 
vices to the explorers of ancient and modern times be over-esti- 
mated. Their existence is embraced in the plan of the Divinity 
for the government of the world, and it will not form subject for 
surprise to learn that the same intelligence which sent a thrill of 
liberty into every corner of the republic, will, in the near future, 


devise some method under which the remnant of a great and an- 
cient race may taste the sweets of public kindness, and feel that, 
after centuries of turmoil and tyranny, they have at last found a 
shelter amid a sympathizing people. Many have looked at the In- 
dian as the pessimist does at all things; they say that he was never 
formidable until the white man supplied him with the weapons of 
modern warfare; but there is no mention made of his eviction from 
his retired home, and the little plot of cultivated garden which 
formed the nucleus of a village that, if fostered instead of being 
destroyed, might possibly hold an Indian population of some im- 
portance in the economy of the nation. There is no intention what- 
ever to maintain that the occupation of this country by the favored 
races is wrong even in principle; for where any obstacle to advanc- 
ing civilization exists, it has to fall to the ground; but it may be 
6aid, with some truth, that the white man, instead of a policy of 
conciliation formed upon the power of kindness, indulged in bel- 
ligerency as impolitic as it was unjust. A modern writer says, 
when speaking of the Indian's character: "He did not exhibit that 
steady valor and efficient discipline of the American soldier; and 
to-day on the plains Sheridan's troopers would not hesitate to 
attack the bravest band, though outnumbered three to one." This 
piece of information applies to the European and African, as well 
as to the Indian. The American soldier, and particularly the 
troopers referred to, would not fear or shrink from a very legion of 
demons, even with odds against them. This mode of warfare seems 
strangely peculiar when compared with the military systems of 
civilized countries; yet, since the main object of armed men is to 
defend a country or a principle, and to destroy anything which may 
oppose itself to them, the mode of warfare pursued by the savage 
will be found admirably adapted to their requirements in this con- 
nection, and will doubtless compare favorably with the systems of 
the Afghans and Persians of the present, and the Caucasian people 
9f the first historic period. 


The art of hunting not only supplied the Indian with food, but, 
like that of war, was a means of gratifying his love of distinction. 
The male children, as soon as they acquired sufficient age and 
strength, were furnished with a bow and arrow and taught to shoot 
birds and other small game. Success in killing a large quadruped 
required years of careful study and practice, and the art was as 



sedulously inculcated in the minds of the rising generation as are 
the elements of reading, writing and arithmetic in the common 
schools of civilized communities. The mazes of the forest and the 
dense, tall grass of the prairies were the best fields for the exercise 
of the hunter's skill. No feet could be impressed in the yielding 
soil but that the tracks were the objects of the most searching 
scrutiny, and revealed at a glance the animal that made them, the 
direction it was pursuing, and the time that had elapsed since it 
had passed. In a forest country he selected the valleys, because 
they were most frequently the resort of game. The most easily 
taken, perhaps, of all the animals of the chase was the deer. It is 
endowed with a curiosity which prompts it to stop in its flight and 
look back at the approaching hunter, who always avails himself of 
this opportunity to let fly the fatal arrow. 

Their general councils were composed of the chiefs and old men. 
"When in council, they usually sat in concentric circles around the 
speaker, and each individual, notwithstanding the fiery passions 
that rankled within, preserved an exterior as immovable as if cast 
in bronze. Before commencing business a person appeared with 
the sacred pipe, and another with fire to kindle it. After being 
lighted it was first presented to heaven, secondly to the earth, 
thirdly to the presiding spirit, and lastly the several councilors, 
each of whom took a whiff. These formalities were observed with 
as close exactness as state etiquette in civilized courts. 

The dwellings of the Indians were of the simplest and rudest 
character. On some pleasant spot by the bank of a river, or near 
an ever-running spring, they raised their groups of wigwams, con- 
structed of the bark of trees, and easily taken down and removed 
to another spot. The dwelling-places of the chiefs were sometimes 
more spacious, and constructed with greater care, but of the same 
materials. Skins taken in the chase served them for repose. 
Though principally dependent upon hunting and fishing, the 
uncertain supply from those sources led them to cultivate small 
patches of corn. Every family did everything necessary within 
itself, commerce, or an interchange of articles, being almost unknown 
to them. In cases of dispute and dissension, each Indian relied 
upon himself for retaliation. Blood for blood was the rule, and 
the relatives of the slain man were bound to obtain bloody revenge 
for his death. This principle gave rise, as a matter of course, to 
innumerable and bitter feuds, and wars of extermination where such 
were possible. War, indeed, rather than peace, was the Indian's 


glory and delight, — war, not conducted as civilization, but war 
where individual skill, endurance, gallantry and cruelty were prime 
requisites. For such a purpose as revenge the Indian would make 
great sacrifices, and display a patience and perseverance truly heroic; 
but when the excitement was over, he sank back into a listless, un- 
occupied, well-nigh useless savage. During the intervals of his 
more exciting pursuits, the Indian employed his time in decorating 
his person with all the refinement of paint and feathers, and in the 
manufacture of his arms and of canoes. These were constructed of 
bark, and so light that they could easily be carried on the shoulder 
from stream to stream. His amusements were the war-dance, ath- 
letic games, the narration of his exploits, and listening to the ora- 
tory of the chiefs; but during long periods of such existence he 
remained in a state of torpor, gazing listlessly upon the trees of 
the forests and the clouds that sailed above them ; and this vacancy 
imprinted an habitual gravity, and even melancholy, upon his gen- 
eral deportment. 

The main labor and drudgery of Indian communities fell upon 
the women. The planting, tending and gathering of the crops, 
making mats and baskets, carrying burdens, — in fact, all things of 
the kind were performed by them, thus making their condition but 
little better than that of slaves. Marriage was merely a matter of 
bargain and sale, the husband giving presents to the father of the 
bride. In general they had but few children. They were sub- 
jected to many and severe attacks of sickness, and at times famine 
and pestilence swept away whole tribes. 



The State of Indiana is bounded on the east bj the meridian line 
which forms also the western boundary of Ohio, extending due 
north from the mouth of the Great Miami river; on the south by 
the Ohio river from the mouth of the Great Miami to the mouth 
of the Wabash; on the west by a line drawn along the middle of 
the Wabash river from its mouth to a point where a due north 
line from the town of Vincennes would last touch the shore of said 
river, and thence directly north to Lake Michigan ; and on the north 
by said lake and an east and west line ten miles north of the ex- 
treme south end of the lake, and extending to its intersection with 
the aforesaid meridian, the west boundary of Ohio. These bound- 
aries include an area of 33,809 square miles, lying between 37° 
47' and 41° 50' north latitude, and between 7° 45' and 11° 1' west 
longitude from Washington. 

After the discovery of America by Columbus in 1492, more than 
150 years passed away before any portion of the territory now com- 
prised within the above limits was explored by Europeans. Colo- 
nies were established in Florida, Virginia and Nova Scotia by the 
principal rival governments of Europe, but not until about 1670-'2 
did the first white travelers venture as far into the Northwest as 
Indiana or Lake Michigan. These explorers were Frenchmen by 
the names of Claude Alluuez and Claude Dablon, who then visited 
what is now the eastern part of Wisconsin, the northeastern portion 
of Illinois and probably that portion of this State north of the Kan- 
kakee river. In the following year M. Joliet, an agent of the 
French Colonial government, and James Marquette, a good and 
simple-hearted missionary who had his station at Mackinaw, ex- 
plored the country about Green Bay, and along Fox and Wiscon- 
sin rivers as far westward as the Mississippi, the banks of which 
they reached June 17, 1673. They descended this river to about 
33° 40', but returned by way of the Illinois river and the route 
they came in the Lake Region. At a village among the Illinois In- 
dians, Marquette and his small band of adventurers were received 



in a friendly manner and treated hospitably. They were made the 
honored guests at a great feast, where hominy, fish, dog meat and 
roast buffalo meat were spread before them in great abundance. In 
1682 LaSalle explored the West, but it is not known that he entered 
the region now embraced within the State of Indiana. He took 
formal possession, however, of all the Mississippi region in the 
name of the King of France, in whose honor he gave all this Mis- 
sissippi region, including what is now Indiana, the name "Louisi- 
ana." Spain at the same time laid claim to all the region about 
the Gulf of Mexico, and thus these two great nations were brought 
into collision. But the country was actually held and occupied by 
the great Miami confederacy of Indians, the Miamis proper (an- 
ciently the Twightwees) being the eastern and most powerful tribe. 
Their territory extended strictly from the Scioto river west to the 
Illinois river. Their villages were few and scattering, and their 
occupation was scarcely dense enough to maintain itself against in- 
vasion. Their settlements were occasionally visited by Christian 
missionaries, fur traders and adventurers, but no body of white men 
made any settlement sufficiently permanent for a title to national 
possession. Christian zeal animated France and England in mis- 
sionary enterprise, the former in the interests of Catholicism and 
the latter in the interests of Protestantism. Hence their haste to 
preoccupy the land and proselyte the aborigines. No doubt this 
ugly rivalry was often seen by Indians, and they refused to be 
proselyted to either branch of Christianity. 

The " Five Nations," farther east, comprised the Mohawks, 
Oneidas, Cayugas, Onondaguas and Senecas. In 1677 the number 
of warriors in this confederacy was 2,150. About 1711 the Tusca- 
roras retired from Carolina and joined the Iroquois, or Five Na- 
tions, which, after that event, became known as the " Six Nations." 
In 1689 hostilities broke out between the Five Nations and the 
colonists of Canada, and the almost constant wars in which France 
was engaged until the treaty of Ryswick in 1697 combined to 
check the grasping policy of Louis XIV., and to retard the plant- 
ing of French colonies in the Mississippi valley. Missionary efforts, 
however, continued with more failure than success, the Jesuits 
allying themselves with the Indians in habits and customs, even 
encouraging inter-marriage between them and their white fol- 



The Wabash was first named bj the French, and spelled bj them 
Ouabache. This river was known even before the Ohio, and was 
navigated as the Ouabache all the way to the Mississippi a long time 
before it was discovered that it was a tributary of the Ohio (Belle 
Riviere). In navigating the Mississippi they thought they passed 
the mouth of the Ouabache instead of the Ohio. In traveling from 
the Great Lakes to the south, the French always went by the way of 
the Ouabache or Illinois. 


Francois Morgan de Yinsenne served in Canada as early as 1720 
in the regiment of " De Carrignan " of the French service, and 
again on the lakes in the vicinity of Sault Ste. Marie in the same 
service under M. de Vaudriel, in 1725. It is possible that his ad- 
vent to Yincennes may have taken place in 1732; and in proof of 
this the only record is an act of sale under the joint names of him- 
self and Madame Yinsenne, the daughter of M. Philip Longprie, 
and dated Jan. 5, 1735. This document gives his military position 
as commandant of the post of Ouabache in the service of the French 
King. The will of Longprie, dated March 10, same year, bequeaths 
him, among other things, 408 pounds of pork, which he ordered to 
be kept dafe until Yinsenne, who was then at Ouabache, returned 
to Kaskaskia. 

There are many other documents connected with its early settle- 
ment by Yinsenne, among which is a receipt for the 100 pistoles 
granted him as nis wife's marriage dowry. In 1736 this officer was 
ordered to Charlevoix by D'Artagette, viceroy of the King at New 
Orleans, and commandant of Illinois. Here M. St. Yinsenne re- 
ceived his mortal wounds. The event is chronicled as follows, in 
the words of D'Artagette: " We have just received very bad news 
from Louisiana, and our war with the Chickasaws. The French 
have been defeated. Among the slain is M. de Yinsenne, who 
ceased not until his last breath to exhort his men to behave worthy 
of their faith and fatherland." 

Thus closed the career of this gallant officer, leaving a name 
which holds as a remembrancer the present beautiful town of Yin- 
cennes, changed from Yinsenne to its present orthography in 1749. 

Post Yincennes was settled as early as 1710 or 1711. In a letter 
from Father Marest to Father Germon, dated at Kaskaskia, Nov. 9, 
1712, occurs this passage: "Les Francois itoient itabli unfort swr 


lefleuve Ouabache ; iU demanderent un missionaire / et le Pere 
Mermet leurfut envoy e. Ce Pere crut devoir travailler a la 
conversion des Mascoutens qui avoient fait un village sur les 
horde dumeme jleuve. Cest une nation Indians qui entend la 
langue rUmoise" Translated: " The French have established a 
fort upon the river "Wabash, and want a missionary; and Father 
Mermet has been sent to them. That Father believes he should 
labor for the conversion of the Mascoutens, who have built a vil- 
lage on the banks of the same river. They are a nation of Indians 
who understand the language of the Illinois.' , 

Mermet was therefore the first preacher of Christianity in this 
part of the world, and his mission was to convert the Mascoutens, 
a branch of the Miamis. " The way I took," says he, " was to con- 
found, in the presence of the whole tribe, one of these charlatans 
[medicine men], whose Manitou, or great spirit which he wor- 
shiped, was the buffalo. After leading him on insensibly to the 
avowal that it was not the buffalo that he worshiped, but the Man- 
itou, or spirit, of the buffalo, which was under the earth and ani- 
mated all buffaloes, which heals the sick and has all power, I asked 
him whether other beasts, the bear for instance, and which one of 
his nation worshiped, was not equally inhabited by a Manitou, 
which was under the earth. ' Without doubt,' said the grand medi- 
cine man. ' If this is so,' said I, ' men ought to have a Manitou 
who inhabits them.' ' Nothing more certain,' said he. ' Ought 
not that to convince you,' continued I, ' that you are not very 
reasonable? For if man upon the earth is the master of all animals, 
if he kills them, if he eats them, does it not follow that the Mani- 
tou which inhabits him must have a mastery over all other Mani- 
tous? Why then do you not invoke him instead of the Manitou 
of the bear and the buffalo, when you are sick?' This reasoning 
disconcerted the charlatan. But this was all the effect it 

The result of convincing these heathen by logic, as is generally 
the case the world over, was only a temporary logical victory, and 
no change whatever was produced in the professions and practices 
of the Indians. 

But the first Christian (Catholic) missionary at this place whose 
name we find recorded in the Church annals, was Meurin, in 1849. 

The church building used by these early missionaries at Vin- 
cennes is thus described by the " oldest inhabitants:" Fronting on 
Water street and running back on Church street, it was a plain 


building with a rough exterior, of upright posts, chinked and 
daubed, with a rough coat of cement on the outside; about 20 feet 
wide and 60 long; one story high, with a small belfry and an equally 
amall bell. It was dedicated to St. Francis Xavier. This spot is 
cow occupied by a splendid cathedral. 

Yincennes has ever been a stronghold of Catholicism. The 
Church there has educated and sent out many clergymen of her 
faith, some of whom have become bishops, or attained other high 
positions in ecclesiastical authority. 

Almost contemporaneous with the progress of the Church at 
Vincennes was a missionary work near the mouth of the Wea river, 
unong the Ouiatenons, but the settlement there was broken up in 
aarly day. 



Soon after the discovery of the mouth of the Mississippi by La- 
Salle in 1682, the government of France began to encourage the 
policy of establishing a line of trading posts and missionary 
jtations extending through the West from Canada to Louisiana, 
Mid this policy was maintained, with partial success, for about 75 
fears. The traders persisted in importing whisky, which cancelled 
nearly every civilizing influence that could be brought to bear upon 
the Indian, and the vast distances between posts prevented that 
strength which can -be enjoyed onlv by close and convenient inter- 
communication. Another characteristic of Indian nature was to 
listen attentively to all the missionary said, pretending to believe 
all he preached, and then offer in turn his theory of the world, of 
religion, etc., and because he was not listened to with the same 
degree of attention and pretense of belief, would go off disgusted. 
This was his idea of the golden rule. 

The river St. Joseph of Lake Michigan was called "the river 
Miamis" in 1679, in which year LaSalle built a small fort on its 
bank, near the lake shore. The principal station of the mission 
for the instruction of the Miamis was established on the borders of 
this river. The first French post within the territory of the 
Miamis was at the mouth of the river Miamis, on an eminence 
naturally fortified on two sides by the river, and on one side by a 


deep ditch made by a fall of water. It was of triangular form. 
The missionary Hennepin gives a good description of it, as he was 
one of the company who built it, in 1679. Says he: " We fell the 
trees that were on the top of the hill; and having cleared the same 
from bushes for about two musket shot, we began to build a 
redoubt of 80 feet long and 40 feet broad, with great square pieces 
of timber laid one upon another, and prepared a great number of 
stakes of about 25 feet long to drive into the ground, to make our 
fort more inaccessible on the river side. We employed the whole 
month of November about that work, which was very hard, though 
we had no other food but the bear's flesh our savage killed. These 
beasts are very common in that place because of the great quantity 
of grapes they find there; but their flesh being too fat and luscious, 
our men began to be weary of it and desired leave to go a hunting 
to kill some wild goats. M. LaSalle denied them that liberty, 
which caused some murmurs among them; and it was but unwill- 
ingly that they continued their work. This, together with the 
approach of winter and the apprehension that M. LaSalle had that 
his vessel (the Griffin) was lost, made him very melancholy, though 
he concealed it as much as he could. We made a cabin wherein 
we performed divine service every Sunday, and Father Gabriel and 
I, who preached alternately, took care to take such texts as were 
suitable to our present circumstances and fit to inspire us with 
■courage, concord and brotherly love. * * * The fort was at 
last perfected, and called Fort Miamis." 

In the year 1711 the missionary Chardon, who was said to be 
very zealous and apt in the acquisition of languages, had a station 
on the St. Joseph about 60 miles above the mouth. Charlevoix, 
another distinguished missionary from France, visited a post on 
this river in 1721. In a letter dated at the place, Aug. 16, he says: 
" There is a commandant here, with a small garrison. His house, 
which is but a very sorry one, is called the fort, from its being sur- 
rounded with an indifferent palisado, which is pretty near the case 
in all the rest. We have here two villages of Indians, one of the 
Miamis and the other of the Pottawatomies, both of them mostly 
Christians; but as they have been for a long time without any pas- 
tors, the missionary who has been lately sent to them will have no 
small difficulty in bringing them back to the exercise of their re< 
ligion." He speaks also of the main commodity for which the In. 
dians would part with their goods, namely, spirituous liquors, 
which they drink and keep drunk upon as long as a supply lasted. 



More than a century and a half has now passed since Charlevoix 
penned the above, without any change whatever in this trait of In- 
lian character. 

In 1765 the Miami nation, or confederacy, was composed of fonr 
;ribes, whose total number of warriors wis estimated at only 1,050 
nen. Of these about 250 were Twightwees, or Miamis proper, 
300 Weas, or Ouiatenons , 300 Piankeshaws and 200 Shockeys; and 
it this time the principal villages of the Twightwees were situated 
ibout the head of the Maumee river at and near the place where 
Fort Wayne now is. The larger Wea villages were near the banks 
)f the Wabash river, in the vicinity of the Post Ouiatenon; and 
ihe Shockeys and Piankeshaws dwelt on the banks of the Vermil- 
lion and on the borders of the Wabash between Yincennes and 
Ouiatenon. Branches of the Pottawatomie, Shawnee, Delaware and 
Kickapoo tribes were permitted at different times to enter within 
the boundaries of the Miamis and reside for a while. 

The wars in which France and England were engaged, from 1688 
to 1697, retarded the growth of the colonies of those nations in 
North America, and the efforts made by France to connect Canada 
and the Gulf of Mexico by a chain of trading posts and colonies 
naturally excited the jealousy of England and gradually laid the 
foundation for a struggle at arms. After several stations were estab- 
lished elsewhere in the West, trading posts were started at the 
Miami villages, which stood at the head of the Maumee, at the Wea 
villages about Ouiatenon on the Wabash, and at the Piankeshaw vil- 
lages about the present sight of Yincennes. It is probable that before 
the close of the year 1719, temporary trading posts were erected at the 
sites of Fort Wayne, Ouiatenon and Yincennes. These points were 
probably often visited by French fur traders prior to 1700. In the 
meanwhile the English people in this country commenced also to 
establish military posts west of the Alleghanies, and thus matters 
went on until they naturally culminated in a general war, which, 
being waged by the French and Indians combined on one side, was 
called " the French and Indian war." This war was terminated in 
1763 by a treaty at Paris, by which France ceded to Great Britain 
all of North America east of the Mississippi except New Orleans 
and the island on which it is situated; and indeed, France had the 
preceding autumn, by a secret convention, ceded to Spain all the 
country west of that river. 



In 1762, after Canada and its dependencies had been surrendered 
to the English, Pontiac and his partisans secretly organized a pow- 
erful confederacy in order to crush at one blow all English power 
in the West. This great scheme was skillfully projected and cau- 
tiously matured. 

The principal act in the programme was to gain admittance into 
the fort at Detroit, on pretense of a friendly visit, with short- 
ened muskets concealed under their blankets, and on a given signal 
suddenly break forth upon the garrison; but an inadvertent remark 
of an Indian woman led to a discovery of the plot, which was con- 
sequently averted. Pontiac and his warriors afterward made many 
attacks upon the English, some of which were successful, but the 
Indians were finally defeated in the general war. 


In 1765 the total number of French families within the limits of 
the Northwestern Territory did not probably exceed 600. These 
were in settlements about Detroit, along the river Wabash and the 
neighborhood of Fort Chartres on the Mississippi. Of these fami- 
lies, about 80 or 90 resided at Post Yincennes, 14 at Fort Ouiate- 
non, on the Wabash, and nine or ten at the confluence of the St. 
Mary and St. Joseph rivers. 

The colonial policy of'the British government opposed any meas- 
ures which might strengthen settlements in the interior of this 
country, lest tljey become self-supporting and independent of the 
mother country; hence the early and rapid settlement of the North- 
western territory was still further retarded by the short-sighted 
selfishness of England. That fatal policy consisted mainly in hold- 
ing the land in the hands of the government and not allowing it to 
be subdivided and sold to settlers. But in spite of all her efforts 
in this direction, she constantly made just such efforts as provoked 
the American people to rebel, and to rebel successfully, which was 
within 15 years after the perfect close of the French and Indian 


Thomas Jefferson, the shrewd statesman and wise Governor of 
Virginia, saw from the first that actual occupation of Western lands 
was the only way to keep them out of the hands of foreigners and 


Indians. Therefore, directly after the conquest of Yincennes by 
Clark, he engaged a scientific corps to proceed under an escort to 
the Mississippi, and ascertain by celestial observations the point 
on that river intersected by latitude 36° 30', the southern limit of 
the State, and to measure its distance to the Ohio. To Gen. Clark 
was entrusted the conduct of the military operations in that quar- 
ter, lie was instructed to select a strong position near that point 
and establish there a fort and garrison ; thence to extend his conquests 
northward to the lakes, erecting forts at different points, which 
might serve as monuments of actual possession, besides affording 
protection to that portion of the country. Fort "Jefferson" was 
erected and garrisoned on the Mississippi a few miles above the 
southern limit. 

The result of these operations was the addition, to the chartered 
limits of Virginia, of that immense region known as the ' ; Xorth- 
western Territory." The simple fact that such and such forts were 
established by the Americans in this vast region convinced the Brit- 
ish Commissioners that we had entitled ourselves to the land. But 
where are those " monuments n of our power now? 


As a striking example of the inhuman treatment which the early 
Indians were capable of giving white people, we quote the follow 
ing blood-curdling story from Mr. Cox' " Recollections of the 
Wabash Valley ": 

On the 11th of February, 1781, a wagoner named Irvin Hinton 
was sent from the block-house at Louisville, Ky., to Harrodsburg 
for a load of provisions for the fort. Two young men, Richard 
Rue and George Holman, aged respectively 19 and 16 years, were 
sent as guards to protect the wagon from the depredations of any 
hostile Indians who might be lurking in the cane-brakes or ravines 
through which they must pass. Soon after their start a severe 
snow-storm set in which lasted until afternoon. Lest the melting 
snow might dampen the powder in their rifles, the guards fired 
them off, intending to reload them as soon as the storm ceased. 
Hinton drove the horses while Rue walked a few rods ahead and 
Holman about the same distance behind. As they ascended a hill 
about eight miles from Louisville Hinton heard some one say Wlioa 
to the horses. Supposing that something was wrong about the 
wagon, lie stopped and asked Holman why he had called him to 
halt. Holman said that he had not spoken; Rue also denied it, 


but said that he had heard the voice distinctly. At this time a voice 
cried out, " I will solve the mystery for you; it was Simon Girty that 
cried Whoa, and he meant what he said," — at the same time emerg- 
ing from a sink-hole a few rods from the roadside, followed by 13 
Indians, who immediately surrounded the three Kentuckians and 
demanded them to surrender or die instantly. The little party, 
making a virtue of necessity, surrendered to this renegade white 
man and his Indian allies. 

Being so near two forts, Girty made all possible speed in making 
fast his prisoners, selecting the lines and other parts of the harness, 
he prepared for an immediate flight across the Ohio. The panta- 
loons of the prisoners were cut off about four inches above the 
knees, and thus they started through the deep snow as fast as the 
horses could trot, leaving the wagon, containing a few empty bar- 
rels, standing in the road. They continued their march for sev- 
eral cold days, without fire at night, until they reached Wa-puc-ca- 
nat-ta, where they compelled their prisoners to run the gauntlet as 
they entered the village. Hinton first ran the gauntlet and reached 
the council-house after receivitjgfeeveral severe blows upon the head 
and shoulders. Rue next ran between the lines, pursued by an 
Indian with an uplifted tomahawk. He far outstripped his pursuer 
and dodged most of the blows aimed at him. Holman complaining 
that it was too severe a test for a worn-out stripling like himself, 
was allowed to run between two lines of squaws and boy s, and was 
followed by an Indian with a long switch. 

The first council of the Indians did not dispose of these young 
men; they were waiting for the presence of other chiefs and war- 
riors. Hinton escaped, but on the afternoon of the second day he 
was re-captured. Now the Indians were glad that they had an 
occasion to indulge in the infernal joy of burning him at once. 
Soon after their supper, which they shared with their victim, they 
drove the stake into the ground, piled up the fagots in a circle 
around it, stripped and blackened the prisoner, tied him to the 
etake, and applied the torch. It was a slow fire. The war-whoop 
then thrilled through the dark surrounding forest like the chorus 
of a band of infernal spirits escaped from pandemonium, and the 
scalp dance was struck up by those demons in human shape, who 
for hours encircled their victim, brandishing their tomahawks and 
war clubs, and venting their execrations upon the helpless sufferer, 
who died about midnight from the effects of the slow heat. As 
soon as he fell upon the ground, the Indian who first discovered 


him in the woods that evening sprang in, sunk his tomahawk into 
his skull above the ear, and with his knife stripped off the scalp, 
which he bore back with him to the town as a trophy, and which 
was tauntingly thrust into the faces of Rue and Holman, with the 
question, " Can you smell the fire on the scalp of your red-headed 
friend? "We cooked him and left him for the wolves to make a 
breakfast upon; that is the way we serve runaway prisoners." 

After a march of three days more, the prisoners, Rue and Hol- 
man, had to run the gauntlets again, and barely got through with 
their lives. It was decided that they should both be burned at the 
stake that night, though this decision was far from being unani- 
mous. The necessary preparations were made, dry sticks and 
brush were gathered and piled around two stakes, the faces 
and hands of the doomed men were blackened in the customary 
manner, and as the evening approached the poor wretches sat look- 
ing upon the setting sun for the last time. An unusual excitement 
was manifest in a number of chiefs who still lingered about the 
council-house. At a pause in the contention, a noble-looking In- 
dian approached the prisoners, and after speaking a few words to 
the guards, took Holman by the hand, lifted him to his feet, cut the 
cords that bound him to his fellow prisoners, removed the black from 
his face and hands, put his hand kindly upon his head and said: " I 
adopt you as my son, to fill the place of the one I have lately buried; 
you are now a kinsman of Logan, the white man's friend, as he has 
been called, but who has lately proven himself to be a terrible 
aven ;erof the wrongs inflicted upon him by the bloody Cresap and 
his men." With evident reluctance, Girty interpreted this to Hol- 
man, who was thus unexpectedly freed. 

But the preparations for the burning of Rue went on. Holman 
and Rue embraced each other most affectionately, with a sorrow too 
deep for description. Rue was then tied to one of the stakes; but 
the general contention among the Indians had not ceased. Just as 
the lighted fagots were about to be applied to the dry brush piled 
around the devoted youth, a tall, active young Shawnee, a son of 
the victim's captor, sprang into the ring, and cutting the cords 
which bound him to the stake, led him out amidst the deafening 
plaudits of a part of the crowd and the execrations of the rest. Re- 
gardless of threats, he caused water to be brought and the black to 
be washed from the face and hands of the prisoner, whose clothes 
were then returned to him, when the young brave said: "I take 
this young man to be my brother, in the place of one I lately lost; 


I loved that brother well; I will love this one, too; my old mother 
will be glad when I tell her that I have brought her a son, in place 
of the dear departed one. We want no more victims. The burning 
of Red-head [Hinton] ought to satisfy us. These innocent young 
men do not merit 6uch cruel fate; I would rather die myself than 
see this adopted brother burned at the stake." 

A loud 6hout of approbation showed that the young Shawnee had 
triumphed, though dissension was manifest among the various 
tribes afterward. Some of them abandoned their trip to Detroit, 
others returded to Wa-puc-ca-nat-ta, a few turned toward the Mis- 
sissinewa and the Wabash towns, while a portion continued to De- 
troit. Holman was taken back to Wa-puc-ca-nat ta, where he re- 
mained most of the time of his captivity. Rue was taken first to 
the Mississinewa, then to the Wabash towns. Two years of his 
eventful captivity were spent in the region of the Wabash and Illi- 
nois rivers, but the last few months at Detroit; was in captivity 
altogether about three years and a half. 

Rue effected his escape in the following manner: During one of 
the drunken revels of the Indians near Detroit one of them lost a 
purse of $90; various tribes were suspected of feloniously keeping 
the treasure, and much ugly speculation was indulged in as to who 
was the thief. At length a prophet of a tribe that was not suspected 
was called to divine the mystery. He spread sand over a green 
deer-skiD, watched it awhile and performed various manipulations, 
and professed to see that the money had been stolen and carried 
away by a tribe entirely different from any that had been 
suspicioned; but he was shrewd enough not to announce who the 
thief was or the tribe he belonged to, lest a war might arise. His 
decision quieted the belligerent uprisings threatened by the excited 

Rue and two other prisoners saw this display of the prophet's 
skill and concluded to interrogate him 60on concerning their fami- 
lies at home. The opportunity occurred in a few days, and the In- 
dian seer actually astonished Rue with the accuracy with which he 
described his family, and added, " You all intend to make your 
escape, and you will effect it soon. You will meet with many trials 
and hardships in passing over so wild a district of country, inhabited 
by so many hostile nations of Indians. You will almost starve to 
death; but about the time you have given up all hope of finding 
game to sustain you in your famished condition, succor will come 
when you least expect it. The first game you will succeed in taking 


will be a male of some kind ; after that you will have plenty of 
*ame and return home in safety." 

The prophet kept this matter a secret for the prisoners, and the 
atter in a few days set off upon their terrible journey, and had 
fust such experience as the Indian prophet had foretold; they 
arrived home with their lives, but were pretty well worn out with the 
sxposures and privations of a three weeks' journey. 

On the return of Holman's party of Indians to "Wa-puc-ca-nat-ta, 
much dissatisfaction existed in regard to the manner of his release 
from the sentence of condemnation pronounced against him by the 
3ouncil. Many were in favor of recalling the council and trying 
him again, and this was finally agreed to. The young man was 
again put upon trial for his life, with a strong probability of his 
being condemned to the stake. Both parties worked hard for vic- 
tory in the final vote, which eventually proved to give a majority of 
Dne for the prisoner's acquittal. 

"While with the Indians, Holman saw them burn at the stake a 
Kentuckian named Richard Hogeland, who had been taken prisoner 
at the defeat of Col. Crawford. They commenced burning him at 
nine o'clock at night, and continued roasting him until ten o'clock 
the next day, before he expired. During his excruciating tortures he 
begged for some of them to end his life and sufferings with a gun 
3r tomahawk. Finally his cruel tormentors promised they would, 
and cut several deep gashes in his flesh with their tomahawks, and 
shoveled up hot ashes and embers and threw them into the gaping 
wounds. "When he was dead they stripped off his scalp, cut him 
to pieces and burnt him to ashes, which they scattered through the 
town to expel the evil spirits from it. 

After a captivity of about three years and a half, Holman saw an 
opportunity of going on a mission for the destitute Indians, namely, 
of going to Harrodsburg, Ky., where he had a rich uncle, from 
whom they could get what supplies they wanted. They let him go 
with a guard, but on arriving at Louisville, where Gen. Clark was 
in command, he was ransomed, and he reached home only three 
days after the arrival of Rue. Both these men lived to a good old 
age, terminating their lives at their home about two miles south of 
Richmond, Ind. 


In the summer of 1778, Col. George Rogers Clark, a native of 
Albemarle county, Va., led a memorable expedition against the 
ancient French settlements about Kaskaskia and Post Vincennes. 
With respect to the magnitude of its design, the valor and perse- 
verance with which it was carried on, and the memorable results 
which were produced by it, this expedition stands without a parallel 
in the early annals of the valley of the Mississippi. That portion 
of the "West called Kentucky was occupied by Henderson & Co., 
who pretended to own the land and who held it at a high price. 
Col. Clark wished to test the validity of their claim and adjust the 
government of the country so as to encourage immigration. He 
accordingly called a meeting of the citizens at Harrodstown, to 
assemble June 6, 1776, and consider the claims of the company and 
consult with reference to the interest of the country. He did not 
at first publish the exact aim of this movement, lest parties would 
be formed in advance and block the enterprise; also, if the object 
of the meeting were not announced beforehand, the curiosity of the 
people to know what was to be proposed would bring out a much 
greater attendance. 

The meeting was held on the day appointed, and delegates were 
elected to treat with the government of Virginia, to see whether 
it would be best to become a county in that State and be protected 
by it, etc. Various delays on account of the remoteness of the 
white settlers from the older communities of Virginia and the hos- 
tility of Indians in every direction, prevented a consummation of 
this object until some time in 1778. The government of Virginia 
was friendly to Clark's enterprise to a certain extent, but claimed 
that they had not authority to do much more than to lend a little 
assistance for which payment should be made at some future time, 
as it was not certain whether Kentucky would become a part of Vir- 
ginia or not. Gov. Henry and a few gentlemen were individually 
so hearty in favor of Clark's benevolent undertaking that they 
assisted him all they could. Accordingly Mr. Clark organized his 
expedition, keeping every particular secret lest powerful parties 
would form in the West against him. He took in stores at Pitts- 





burg and Wheeling, proceeded down the Ohio to the " Falls," 
where he took possession of an island of a about seven acres, and 
divided it among a small number of families, for whose protection 
he constructed some light fortifications. At this time Post Vin- 
cennes comprised about 400 militia, and it was a daring undertak- 
ing for Col. Clark, with his small force, to go up against it and Kas- 
kaskia, as he had planned. Indeed, some of his men, on hearing of 
his plan, deserted him. He conducted himself so as to gain the 
sympathy of the French, and through them also that of the 
Indians to some extent, as both these people were very bitter 
against the British, who had possession of the Lake Region. 

From the nature of the situation Clark concluded it was best to 
take Kaskaskia first. The fact that the people (regarded him as a 
savage rebel, he regarded as really a good thing in his favor; for 
after the first victory he would show them so much unexpected 
lenity that they would rally to his standard. In this policy he was 
indeed successful. He arrested a few men and put them in irons. 
The priest of the village, accompanied by five or six aged citizens, 
waited on Clark and said that the inhabitants expected to be separ- 
ated, perhaps never to meet again, and they begged to be permitted 
to assemble in their church to take leave of each other. Clark 
mildly replied that he had nothing against their religion, that they 
might continue to assemble in their church, but not venture out of 
town, etc. Thus, by what has since been termed the "Rarey" 
method of taming horses, Clark showed them he had power over 
them but designed them no harm, and they readily took the oath 
of allegiance to Virginia. 

After Clark's arrival at Kaskaskia it was difficult to induce the 
French settlers to accept the "Continental paper" introduced by 
him and his troops. Nor until Col. Yigo arrived there and guar- 
anteed its redemption would they receive it. Peltries and piastres 
formed the only currency, and Yigo found great difficulty in ex- 
plaining Clark's financial arrangements. "Their commandants 
never made money," was the reply to Yigo's explanation of the 
policy of the old Dominion. But notwithstanding the guarantees, 
the Continental paper fell very low in the market. Yigo had a 
trading establishment at Kaskaskia, where he sold coffee at one 
dollar a pound, and all the other necessaries of life at an equally 
reasonable price. The unsophisticated Frenchmen were generally 
asked in what kind of money they would pay their little bills. 


"Douleur," was the general reply; and as an authority on the sub- 
ject says, "It took about twenty Continental dollars to purchase a 
silver dollar's worth of coffee; and as the French word "douleur" sig- 
nifies grief or pain, perhaps no word either in the French or Eng- 
lish languages expressed the idea more correctly than the douleur 
for a Continental dollar. At any rate it was truly douleur to the 
Colonel, for he never received a single dollar in exchange for the 
large amount taken from him in order to sustain Clark's credit. 

Now, the post at Vincennes, defended by Fort Sackville, came 
next. The priest just mentioned, Mr. Gibault, was really friendly 
to "the American interest;" he had spiritual charge of the church 
at Vincennes, and he with several others were deputed to assemble 
the people there and authorize them to garrison their own fort like 
a free and independent people, etc. This plan had its desired effect, 
and the people took the oath of allegiance to the State of Virginia 
and became citizens of the United States. Their style of language 
and conduct changed to a better hue, and they surprised the numer- 
ous Indians in the vicinity by displaying anew flag and informing 
them that their old father, the King of France, was come to life 
again, and was mad at them for fighting the English ; and they ad- 
vised them to make peace with the Americans as soon as they 
oould, otherwise they might expect to make the land very bloody, 
etc. The Indians concluded they would have to fall in line, and 
they offered no resistance. Capt. Leonard Helm, an American, 
was left in charge of this post, and Clark began to turn his atten- 
tion to other points. But before leaving this section of the coun- 
try he made treaties of peace with the Indians ; this he did, how- 
ever, by a different method from what had always before been 
followed. By indirect methods he caused them to come to him, 
instead of going to them. He was convinced that inviting them to 
treaties was considered by them in a different manner from what 
the whites expected, and imputed them to fear, and that giving 
them great presents confirmed it. He accordingly established 
treaties with the Piankeshaws, Ouiatenons, Kickapoos, Illinois, 
Kaskaskias, Peorias and branches of some other tribes that inhab- 
ited the country between Lake Michigan and the Mississippi. 
Upon this the General Assembly of the State of Virginia declared 
all the citizens settled west of the Ohio organized into a county of 
that State, to be known as " Illinois " county ; but before the pro- 
visions of the law could be carried into effect, Henry Hamilton, the 
British Lieutenant-Governor of Detroit, collected an army of about 


30 regulars, 50 French volunteers and 400 Indians, went down and 
re-took the post Yincennes in December, 1778. No attempt was 
made by the population to defend the town. Capt. Helm and a 
man named Henry were the only Americans at the fort, the only 
members of the garrison. Capt. Helm was taken prisoner and a 
number of the French inhabitants disarmed. 

Col. Clark, hearing of the situation, determined to re-capture the 
place. He accordingly gathered together what force he could in 
this distant land, 170 men, and on the 5th of February, started from 
Kaskaskia and crossed the river of that name. The weather was 
very wet, and the low lands were pretty well covered with water. 
The march was difficult, and the Colonel had to work'hard to keep 
his men in spirits. He suffered them to shoot game whenever the y 
wished and eat it like Indian war-dancers, each company by turns 
inviting the others to their feasts, which was the case every night. 
Clark waded through water as much as any of them, and thus stimu- 
lated the men by his example. They reached the Little Wabash 
on the 1 3th, after suffering many and great hardships. Here a camp 
was formed, and without waiting to discuss plans for crossing the 
river, Clark ordered the men to construct a vessel, and pretended 
that crossing the stream would be only a piece of amusement, al- 
though inwardly he held a different opinion. 

The second day afterward a reconnoitering party was sent across 
the river, who returned and made an encouraging report. A scaf- 
folding was built on the opposite 6hore, upon which the baggage 
was placed as it was tediously ferried over, and the new camping 
ground was a nice half acre of dry land. There were many amuse- 
ments, indeed, in getting across the river, which put all the men in 
high spirits. The succeeding two or three days they had to march 
through a great deal of water, having on the night of the 17th to 
encamp in the water, near the Big "Wabash. 

At daybreak on the 18th they heard the signal gun at Yincennes, 
and at once commenced their march. Reaching the Wabash about 
two o'clock, they constructed rafts to cross the river on a boat-steal- 
ing expedition, but labored all day and night to no purpose. On 
the 19th they began to make a canoe, in which a second attempt to 
steal boats was made, but this expedition returned, reporting that 
there were two "large fires" within a mile of them. Clark sent a 
canoe down the river to meet the vessel that was supposed to be on 
her way up with the supplies, with orders to hasten forward day and 
night. This was their last hope, as their provisions were entirely* 


gone, and starvation seemed to be hovering about them. The next 
day they commenced to make more canoes, when about noon the 
sentinel on the river brought a boat with five Frenchmen from the 
fort. From this party they learned that they were not as yet dis- 
covered. All the army crossed the river in two canoes the next 
day, and as Clark had determined to reach the town that night, he 
ordered his men to move forward. They plunged into the water 
sometimes to the neck, for over three miles. 

Without food, benumbed with cold, up to their waists in water, 
covered with broken ice, the men at one time mutinied and refused 
to march. All the persuasions of Clark had no effect upon the 
half-starved and half-frozen soldiers. In one company was a small 
drummer boy, and also a sergeant who stood six feet two inches in 
socks, and stout and athletic. He was devoted to Clark. The Gen- 
eral mounted the little drummer on the shoulders of the stalwart 
sergeant and ordered him to plunge into the water, half-frozen as it 
was. He did so, the little boy beating the charge from his lofty 
perch, while Clark, sword in hand, followed them, giving the com- 
mand as he threw aside the floating ice, " Forward." Elated and 
amused with the scene, the men promptly obeyed, holding their 
rifles above their heads, and in spite of all the obstacles they reached 
the high land in perfect safety. But for this and the ensuing days 
of this campaign we quote from Clark's account: 

" This last day's march through the water was far superior to any- 
thing the Frenchmen had any idea of. They were backward in 
speaking; said that the nearest land to us was a small league, a 
sugar camp on the" bank of the river. A canoe was sent off and re- 
turned without finding that we could pass. I went in her myself 
and sounded the water and found it as deep as to my neck. I returned 
with a design to have the men transported on board the canoes to 
the sugar camp, which I knew would expend the whole day and en- 
suing night, as the vessels would pass slowly through the bushes. 
The loss of so much time to men half starved was a matter of con- 
sequence. I would have given now a great deal for a day's provis- 
ion, or for one of our horses, I returned but slowly to the troops, 
giving myself time to think. On our arrival all ran to hear what 
was the report; every eye was fixed on me; I unfortunately spoke 
in a serious manner to one of the officers. The whole were alarmed 
without knowing what I said. I viewed their confusion for about 
one minute; I whispered to chose near me to do as I did, immedi- 
ately put some water in my hand, poured on powder, blackened my 


face, gave the war-whoop, and marched into the water without say- 
ing a word. The party gazed and fell in, one after another without 
saying a word, like a flock of sheep. I ordered those near me to 
begin a favorite song of theirs; it soon passed through theline,and 
the whole went on cheerfully. 

" I now intended to have them transported across the deepest 
part of the water; but when about waist-deep, one of the men in- 
formed me that he thought he felt a path ; we examined and found 
it so, and concluded that it kept on the highest ground, which it did, 
•and by taking pains to follow it, we got to the sugar camp with no 
difficulty, where there was about half an acre of dry ground, — at 

least ground not under water, and there we took up our lodging. 
* * * * * * 

" The night had been colder than any we had had, and the ice iD 
the morning was one-half or three-quarters of an inch thick in still 
water; the morning was the finest. A little after sunrise I lectured 
the whole; what I said to them I forget, but I concluded by in- 
forming them that passing the plain then in full view, and 
reaching the opposite woods would put an end to their fatigue; 
that in a few hours they would have a sight of their long wished-for 
object; and immediately stepped into the water without waiting 
for any reply. A huzza took place. As we generally marched 
through the water in a line, before the third man entered, I called to 
Major Bowman, ordering him to fall in the rear of the 25 men, and 
put to death any man who refused to march. This met with a cry 
of approbation, and on we went. Getting about the middle of the 
plain, the water about mid-deep, I found myself sensibly failing; 
and as there were no trees nor bushes for the men to support them- 
selves by, I feared that many of the weak would be drowned. I or- 
dered the canoes to make the land, discharge their loading, and play 
backward and forward with all diligence and pick up the men ; and 
to encourage the party, sent some of the strongest men forward, 
with orders when they got to a certain distance, to pass the word 
back that the water was getting shallow, and when getting near the 
woods, to cry out land. This stratagem had its desired effect; the 
men exerted themselves almost beyond their abilities, the weak 
holding by the stronger. The water, however, did not become 
shallower, but continued deepening. Getting to the woods where 
the men expected land, the water was up to my shoulders; but 
gaining the woods was of great consequence; all the low men and 
weakly hung to the trees and floated on the old logs until they were 


taken off by the canoes; the strong and tall got ashore and built 
fires. Many would reach the shore and fall with their bodies half 
in the water, not being able to support themselves without it. 

"This was a dry and delightful spot of ground of about ten acres. 
Fortunately, as if designed by Providence, a canoe of Indian squaws 
and children was coming up to to\vn, and took through "this part of 
the plain as a nigh way; it was discovered by our canoe-men as they 
were out after the other men. They gave chase and took the Indian 
canoe, on board of which was nearly half a quarter of buffalo, some 
corn, tallow, kettles, etc. This was an invaluable prize. Broth was 
immediately made and served out, especially to the weakly; nearly 
all of us got a little; but a great many gave their part to the 
weakly, saying something cheering to their comrades. By the 
afternoon, this refreshment and fine weather had greatly invigor- 
ated the whole party. 

" Crossing a narrow and deep lake in the canoes, and marching 
some distance, we came to a copse of timber called ' Warrior's 
Island.' We were now in full view of the fort and town; it was 
about two miles distant, with not a shrub intervening. Every man 
now feasted his eyes and forgot that he had suffered anything, say- 
ing that all which had passed was owiLg to good policy, and noth- 
ing but what a man could bear, and that a soldier had no right to 
think, passing from one extreme to the other,— which is common in 
such cases. And now stratagem was necessary. The plain between 
us and the town was not a perfect level; the sunken grounds were 
covered with water full of ducks. We observed several men within 
a half a mile of us shooting ducks, and sent out some of our active 
young Frenchmen to take one of these men prisoners without 
alarming the rest, which they did. The information we got from 
this person was Bimilar to that which we got from those taken on the 
river, except that of the British having that evening completed the 
wall of the fort, and that there were a great many Indians in town. 

" Our situation was now critical. No possibility of retreat in 
case of defeat, and in full view of a town containing at this time 
more than 600 men, troops, inhabitants and Indians. The crew of the 
galley, though not 50 men, would have been now a re-enforcement 
of immense magnitude to our little army, if I may so call it, but 
we would not think of them. We were now in the situation that I 
had labored to get ourselves in. The idea of being made prisoner 
was foreign to almost every man, as they expected nothing but tor- 
ture from the savages if they fell into their hands. Our fate was 



now to be determined, probably in a few hours; we knew that 
nothing but the most daring conduct would insure success; I knew 
also that a number of the inhabitants wished us well. This was a 
favorable circumstance; and as there was but little prooability of our 
remaining until dark undiscovered, I determined to begin opera- 
tions immediately, and therefore wrote the following placard to the 

To the Inhabitants of Post Vincennes: 

Gentlemen: — Being now within two miles of your village with 
my army, determined to take your fort this night, and not being 
willing to surprise you, I take this method to request such of you 
as are true citizens and willing to enjoy the liberty I bring you, to 
remain still in your houses; and those, if any there be, that are 
friends to the king, will instantly repair to the fort and join the 
hair-buyer general and fight like men ; and if any such as do not go 
to the fort shall be discovered afterward, they may depend on 
severe punishment. On the contrary, those who are true friends 
to liberty may depend on being well treated ; and I once more 
request them to keep out of the streets; for everyone I find in 
arms on my arrival I shall treat as an enemy. 

[Signed] G. E. Clark. 

" I had various ideas on the results of this letter. I knew it 
could do us no damage, but that it would cause the lukewarm to 
be decided, and encourage our friends and astonish our enemies. 
We anxiously viewed this messenger until he entered the town, and 
in a few minutes we discovered by our glasses some stir in every 
street we could penetrate, and great numbers running or riding out 
into the commons, we supposed to view us, which was the case. 
But what surprised us was that nothing had yet happened that had 
the appearance of the garrison being alarmed, — neither gun nor 
drum. We began to suppose that the information we got from our 
prisoners was. false, and that the enemy had already knew of us and 
were prepared. A little before sunset we displayed ourselves in 
full view of the town, — crowds gazing at us. We were plunging 
ourselves into certain destruction or success ; there was no midway 
thought of. We had but little to say to our men, except inculcat- 
ing an idea of the necessity of obedience, etc. We moved on 
slowly in full view of the town; but as it was a point of some con- 
sequence to us to make ourselves appear formidable, we, in leaving 
the covert we were in, marched and counter- marched in such a 
manner that we appeared numerous. Our colors were displayed to 
the best advantage; and as the low plain we marched through was 


not a perfect level, but had frequent risings in it, of 7 or 8 
higher than the common level, which was covered with water; and 
as these risings generally run in an oblique direction to the town, 
we took the advantage of one of them, marching through the water 
by it, which completely prevented our being numbered. "We gained 
the heights back of the town. As there were as yet no hostile 
appearance, we were impatient to have the cause unriddled. Lieut. 
Bayley was ordered with 14 men to march and fire on the fort; 
the main body moved in a different direction and took possession 
of the strongest part of the town." 

Clark then sent a written order to Hamilton commanding 
him to surrender immediately or he would be treated as a 
murderer; Hamilton replied that he and his garrison were not 
disposed to be awed into any action unworthy of British sub- 
jects. After one hour more of fighting, Hamilton proposed a 
truce of three days for conference, on condition that each side 
cease all defensive work; Clark rejoined that he would "not 
agree to any terms other than Mr. Hamilton surrendering himself 
and garrison prisoners at discretion," and added that if he, Hamil- 
ton, wished to talk with him he could meet him immediately at the 
church with Capt. Helm. In less than an hour Clark dictated the 
terms of surrender, Feb. 24, 1779. Hamilton agreed to the total 
surrender because, as he there claimed in writing, he was too far 
from aid from his own government, and because of the " unanimity" 
of his officers in the surrender, and his "confidence in a generous 

"Of this expedition, of its results, of its importance, of the merits of 
those engaged in it, of their bravery, their skill, of their prudence, of 
their success, a volume would not more than suffice for the details. 
Suffice it to say that in my opinion, and I have accurately and criti- 
cally weighed and examined all the results produced by the con- 
tests in which we were engaged during the Revolutionary war, 
that for bravery, for hardships endured, for skill and consummate 
tact and prudence on the part of the commander, obedience, dis- 
cipline and love of country on the part of his followers, for the 
immense benefits acquired, and signal advantages obtained by it 
for the whole union, it was second to no enterprise undertaken dur- 
ing that struggle. I might add, second to no undertaking in an- 
cient or modern warfare. The whole credit of this conquest be< 
longs to two men ; Gen. George Rogers Clark and Col. Francis 
Vigo. And when we consider that by it the whole territory now 


covered by the three great states of Indiana, Illinois and Michigan 
was added to the union, and so admitted to be by the British commis- 
sioners at the preliminaries to the treaty of peace in 1783 ; (and but 
for this very conquest, the boundaries of our territories west would 
have been the Ohio instead of the Mississippi, and so acknowledged 
by both our commissioners and the British at that conference;) a 
territory embracing upward of 2,000,000 people, the human mind 
is lost in the contemplation of its effects; and we can but wonder 
that a force of 170 men, the whole number of Clark's troops, 
should by this single action have produced such important re3nlts.' , 
[John Law. 

The next day Clark sent a detachment of 60 men up the river 
Wabash to intercept some boats which were laden with provisions 
and goods from Detroit. This force was placed under command of 
Capt. Helm, Major Bosseron and Major Legras, and they proceeded 
up the river, in three armed boats, about 120 miles, when the 
British boats, about seven in number, were surprised and captured 
without firing a gun. These boats, which had on board about 
$50,000 worth of goods and provisions, were manned by about 
40 men, among whom was Philip Dejean, a magistrate of Detroit. 
The provisions were taken for the public, and distributed among 
the soldiery. 

Having organized a military government at Yincennes and 
appointed Capt. Helm commandant of the town, Col. Clark return- 
ed in the vessel to Kaskaskia, where he was joined by reinforce- 
ments from Kentucky under Capt. George. Meanwhile, a party of 
traders who were going to the falls, were killed and plundered by 
the Delawares of White River; the news of this disaster having 
reached Clark, he sent a dispatch to Capt. Helm ordering him to 
make war on the Delawares and use every means in his power to 
destroy them; to show no mercy to the men, but to save the 
women and children. This order was executed without delay. 
Their camps were attacked in every quarter where they could be 
found. Many fell, and others were carried to Post Yincennes and 
put to death. The surviving Delawares at once pleaded for mercy 
and appeared anxious to make some atonement for their bad con- 
duct. To these overtures Capt. Helm replied that Col. Clark, the 
" Big Knife," had ordered the war, and that he had no power to lay 
down the hatchet, but that he would suspend hostilities until a 
messenger could be sent to Kaskaskia. This was done, and the 
crafty Colonel, well understanding the Indian character, sent a 


message to the Delawares, telling them that he would not accept 
their friendship or treat with them for peace; but that it they 
could get some of the neighboring tribes to become responsible for 
their future conduct, he would discontinue the war and spare their 
lives; otherwise they must all perish. 

Accordingly a council was called of all the Indians in the neigh- 
borhood, and Clark's answer was read to the assembly. After due 
deliberation the Piankeshaws took on themselves to answer for the 
future good conduct of the Delawares, and the " Grand Door " in a 
long speech denounced their base conduct. This ended the war 
with the Delawares and secured the respect of the neighboring 

Ciark's attention was next turned to the British post at Detroit, 
but being unable to obtain sufficient troops he abandoned the en- 

clabk's ingenious ruse against the Indians. 

Tradition says that when Clark captured Hamilton and his gar- 
rison at Fort Sackville, he took possession of the fort and kept the 
British flag flying, dressed his sentinels with the uniform of the 
British soldiery, and let everything about the premises remain as 
they were, so that when the Indians sympathizing with the British 
arrived they would walk right into the citadel, into the jaws of 
death. His success was perfect. Sullen and silent, with the scalp- 
lock of his victims hanging at his girdle, and in full expectation of 
his reward from Hamilton, the unwary savage, unconscious of 
danger and wholly ignorant of the change that had just been effected 
in his absence, passed the supposed British sentry at the gate of the 
fort unmolested and unchallenged; but as soon as in, a volley from 
the rifles of a platoon of Clark's men, drawn up and awaiting his 
coming, pierced their hearts and sent the unconscious savage, reek- 
ing with murder, to that tribunal to which he had so frequently, 
by order of the hair-buyer general, sent his American captives, 
from the infant in the cradle to the grandfather of the family, tot- 
tering with age and infirmity. It was a just retribution, and few 
men but Clark would have planned such a ruse or carried it out 
successfully. It is reported that fifty Indians met this fate within 
the fort; and probably Hamilton, a prisoner there, witnessed it all. 


Henry Hamilton, who had acted as Lieutenant and Governor of 
the British possessions under Sir George Carleton, was sent for- 



ward, with two other prisoners of war, Dejean and LaMothe, to 
Williamsburg, Va., early in June following, 1779. Proclamations, 
in his own handwriting, were found, in which he had offered a 
specific sum for every American scalp brought into the camp, either 
by his own troops or his allies, the Indians; and from this he was 
denominated the "hair-buyer General." This and much other tes- 
timony of living witnesses at the time, all showed what a savage he 
was. Thomas Jefferson, then Governor of Virginia, being made 
aware of the inhumanity of this wretch, concluded to resort to a 
little retaliation by way of closer confinement. Accordingly he 
ordered that these three prisoners be put in irons, confined in a 
dungeon, deprived of the use of pen, ink and paper, and be ex- 
cluded from all conversation except with their keeper. Major 
General Phillips, a British officer out on parole in the vicinity of 
Charlottesville, where the prisoners now were, in closer confine- 
ment, remonstrated, and President Washington, while approving 
of Jefferson's course, requested a mitigation of the severe order, 
lest the British be goaded to desperate measures. 

Soon afterward Hamilton was released on parole, and he subse- 
quently appeared in Canada, still acting as if he had jurisdiction 
in the United States. 

The faithful, self-sacrificing and patriotic services of Father 
Pierre Gibault in behalf of the Americans require a special notice 
of him in this connection. He was the parish priest at Vincennes, 
as well a? at Kaskaskia. He was, at an early period, a Jesuit mis- 
sionary to the Illinois. Had it not been for the influence of this man, 
Clark could not have obtained the influence of the citizens at either 
place. He gave all his property, to the value of 1,500 Spanish 
milled dollars, to the support of Col. Clark's troops, and never re- 
ceived a single dollar in return. So far as the records inform us, 
he was given 1,500 Continental paper dollars, which proved in the 
end entirely valueless. He modestly petitioned from the Govern- 
mmt a small allowance of land at Cahokia, but we find no account 
of his ever receiving it. He was dependent upon the public in his 
older days, and in 1790 Winthrop Sargent "conceded" to him a lot 
of about "14 toises, one side to Mr. Millet, another to Mr. Vaudrey, 
and to two streets," — a vague description of land. 


Col. Francis Vigo was born in Mondovi, in the kingdom of Sar- 
dinia, in 1747. He left his parents and guardians at a very early 
age, and enlisted in a Spanish regiment as a soldier. The regiment 
was ordered to Havana, and a detachment of it subsequently to 
New Orleans, then a Spanish post; Col. Yigo accompanied this de- 
tachment. But he left the army and engaged in trading with the 
Indians on the Arkansas and its tributaries. Next he settled at St. 
Louis, also a Spanish post, where he became closely connected, both 
in friendship and business, with the Governor of Upper Louisiana, 
then residing at the same place. This friendship he enjoyed, though 
he could only write his name; and we have many circumstantial 
evidences that he was a man of high intelligence, honor, purity of 
heart, and ability. Here he was living when Clark captured Kas- 
kaskia, and was extensively engaged in trading up the Missouri. 

A Spaniard by birth and allegiance, he was under no obligation 
to assist the Americans. Spain was at peace with Great Britain, 
and any interference by her citizens was a breach of neutrality, and 
subjected an individual, especially one of the high character and 
standing of Col. Vigo, to all the contumely, loss and vengeance 
which British power could inflict. But Col. Vigo did not falter. 
With an innate love of liberty, an attachment to Republican prin- 
ciples, and an ardent sympathy for an oppressed people struggling 
for their rights, he overlooked all personal consequences, and as 
soon as he learned of Clark's arrival at Kaskaskia, he crossed the 
line and went to Clark and tendered him his means and influence, 
both of which were joyfully accepted. 

Knowing Col. Vigo's influence with the ancient inhabitants of 
the country, and desirous of obtaining some information from 
Vincennes, from which he had not heard for several months, Col. 
Clark proposed to him that he might go to that place and learn the 
actual state of affairs. Vigo went without hesitation, but on the 
Embarrass river he was seized by a party of Indians, plundered of 
all he possessed, and brought a prisoner before Hamilton, then in pos- 
session of the post, which he had a short time previously captured, 
holding Capt. Helm a prisoner of war. Being a Spanish subject, 
and consequently a non-combatant, Gov. Hamilton, although he 
strongly suspected the motives of the visit, dared not confine him, 
but admitted him to parole, on the single condition that he 
should daily report himself at the fort. But Hamilton was embar- 


rassed by his detention, being besieged by the inhabitants of the 
town, who loved Vigo and threatened to withdraw their support 
from the garrison if he would not release him. Father Gibault was 
the chief pleader for Yigo's release. Hamilton finally yielded, on con- 
dition that he, Vigo, would do no injury to the British interests on 
his way to St. Louis. He went to St. Louis, sure enough, doing no 
injury to British interests, but immediately returned to Kaskaskia 
and reported to Clark in detail all he had learned at Yincennes, 
without which knowledge Clark would have been unable to ac- 
complish his famous expedition to that post with final triumph. 
The redemption of this country from the British is due as much, 
probably, to Col. Yigo as Col. Clark. 


Col. John Todd, Lieutenant for the county of Illinois, in the 
spring of 1779 visited the old settlements at Yincennes and Kas- 
kaskia, and organized temporary civil governments in nearly all the 
settlements west of the Ohio. Previous to this, however, Clark 
had established a military government at Kaskaskia and Yincennes, 
appointed commandants in both places and taken up his headquar- 
ters at the falls of the Ohio, where he could watch the operations 
of the enemy and save the frontier settlements from the depreda- 
tions of Indian warfare. On reaching the settlements, Col. Todd 
issued a proclamation regulating the settlement of unoccupied 
lands and requiring the presentation of all claims to the lands set- 
tled, as the number of adventurers who would shortly overrun the 
country would be serious. He also organized a Court of civil and 
criminal jurisdiction at Yincennes, in the month of June, 1779. 
This Court was composed of several magistrates and presided over 
by Col. J. M. P. Legras, who had been appointed commandant at 
Yincennes. Acting from the precedents established by the early 
French commandants in the West, this Court began to grant tracts 
of land to the French and American inhabitants; and to the year 
1783, it had granted to different parties about 26,000 acres of land; 
22,000 more was granted in this manner by 1787, when the practice 
was prohibited by Gen. Harmer. These tracts varied in size from 
a house lot to 500 acres. Besides this loose business, the Court 
entered into a stupendous speculation, one not altogether creditable 
to its honor and dignity. The commandant and the magistrates 
under him suddenly adopted the opinion that they were invests 


with the authority to dispose of the whole of that large region 
which in 1842 had been granted by the Piankeshaws to the French 
inhabitants of Yincennes. Accordingly a very convenient arrange- 
ment was entered into by which the whole tract of country men- 
tioned was to be divided between the members of the honorable 
Court. A record was made to that effect, and in order to gloss over 
the steal, each member took pains to be absent from Court on the 
day that the order was made in his favor. 

In the fall of 1780 La Balme, a Frenchman, made an attempt to 
capture the British garrison of Detroit by leading an expedition 
against it from Kaskaskia. At the head of 30 men he marched to 
Yincennes, where his force was slightly increased. From this 
place he proceeded to the British trading post at the head of the 
Maumee, where Fort Wayne now stands, plundered the British 
traders and Indians and then retired. While encamped on the 
bank of a small stream on his retreat, he was attacked by a band 
of Miamis, a number of his men were killed, and his expedition 
against Detroit was ruined. 

In this manner border war continued between Americans and 
their enemies, with varying victory, until 1783, when the treaty of 
Paris was concluded, resulting in the establishment of the inde- 
pendence of the United States. Up to this time the territory now 
included in Indiana belonged by conquest to the State of Yirginia; 
but in January, 1783, the General Assembly of that State resolved 
to cede to the Congress of the United States all the territory north- 
west of the Ohio. The conditions offered by Yirginia were 
accepted by Congress Dec. 20, that year, and early in 1784 the 
transfer was completed. In 1783 Virginia had platted the town of 
Clarksville, at the falls of the Ohio. The deed of cession provided 
that the territory should be laid out into States, containing a suita- 
ble extent of territory not less than 100 nor more than 150 miles 
square, or as near thereto as circumstances would permit; and that 
the States so formed shall be distinct Republican States and 
admitted members of the Federal Union, having the same rights of 
sovereignty, freedom and independence as the other States. The 
other conditions of the deed were as follows: That the necessary 
and reasonable expenses incurred by Yirginia in subduing any 
British posts, or in maintaining forts and garrisons within and for 
the defense, or in acquiring any part of the territory so ceded or 
relinquished, shall be fully reimbursed by the United States; that 
the French and Canadian inhabitants and other settlers of the Kas- 


kaskia, Post Vincennes and the neighboring villages who have pro- 
fessed themselves citizens of Virginia, shall have their titles and 
possessions confirmed to them, and be protected in the enjoyment 
of their rights and privileges; that a quantity not exceeding 150,- 
000 acres of land, promised by Virginia, shall be allowed and 
granted to the then Colonel, now General, George Rogers Clark, 
and to the officers and soldiers of his regiment, who marched with 
him when the posts and of Kaskasl^ia and Vincennes were reduced, 
and to the officers and soldiers that have been since incorporated 
into the said regiment, to be laid off" in one tract, the length of 
which not to exceed double the breadth, in such a place on the 
northwest side of the Ohio as a majority of the officers shall 
choose, and to be afterward divided among the officers and soldiers 
in due proportion according to the laws of Virginia; that in case 
the quantity of good lands on the southeast side of the Ohio, upon 
the waters of Cumberland river, and between Green river and Ten. 
nessee river, which have been reserved by law for the Virginia 
troops upon Continental establishment, should, from the North 
Carolina line, bearing in further upon the Cumberland lands than 
was expected, prove insufficient for their legal bounties, the defi- 
ciency shall be made up to the said troops in good lands to be laid 
off between the rivers Scioto and Little Miami, on the northwest 
side of the river Ohio, in such proportions as have been engaged 
to them by the laws of Virginia; that all the lands within the ter- 
ritory so ceded to the United States, and not reserved for or appro- 
priated to any of the before-mentioned purposes, or disposed of in 
bounties to the officers and soldiers of the American army, shall be 
considered as a common fund for the use and benefit of such of the 
United States as have become, or shall become, members of the 
confederation or federal alliance of the said States, Virginia included, 
according to their usual respective proportions in the general 
charge and expenditure, and shall be faithfully and bona fide dis- 
posed of for that purpose and for no other use or purpose whatever. 
After the above deed of cession had been accepted by Congress, 
in the spring of 1784, the matter of the future government of the 
territory was referred to a committee consisting of Messrs. Jeffer- 
son of Virginia, Chase of Maryland and Howell of Rhode Island, 
which committee reported an ordinance for its government, provid- 
ing, among other things, that slavery should not exist in said terri- 
tory after 1800, except as punishment of criminals; but this article 
of the ordinance was rejected, and an ordinance for the temporary 


government of the county was adopted. In 1785 laws were passed 
by Congress for the disposition of lands in the territory and pro- 
hibiting the settlement of unappropriated lands by reckless specu- 
lators. But human passion is ever strong enough to evade the law 
to some extent, and large associations, representing considerable 
means, were formed for the purpose of monopolizing the land busi- 
ness. Millions of acres were sold at one time by Congress to asso- 
ciations on the installment plan, and so far as the Indian titles 
could be extinguished, the work of settling and improving the 
lands was pushed rapidly forward. 


This ordinance has a marvelous and interesting history. Con- 
siderable controversy has been indulged in as to who is entitled to 
the credit for framing it. This belongs, undoubtedly, to Nathan 
Dane; and to Rnfus King and Timothy Pickering belong the 
credit for suggesting the proviso contained in it against slavery, 
and also for aids to religion and knowledge, and for assuring for- 
ever the common use, without charge, of the great national high- 
ways of the Mississippi, the St. Lawrence and their tributaries to 
all the citizens of the United States. To Thomas Jefferson is also 
due much credit, as some features of this ordinance were embraced 
in his ordinance of 1784. But the part taken by each in the long, 
laborious and eventful struggle which had so glor.ous a consum- 
mation in the ordinance, consecrating forever, by one imprescript- 
ible and unchangeable monument, the very heart of our country to 
Freedom, Knowledge, and Union, will forever honor the names of 
those illustrious statesmen. 

Mr. Jefferson had vainly tried to secure a system of government 
for the Northwestern territory. He was an emancipationist and 
favored the exclusion of slavery from the territory, but the South 
voted him down every time he proposed a measure of this nature. 
In 1787, as late as July 10, an organizing act without the anti- 
slavery clause was pending. This concession to the South was 
expected to carry it. Congress was in session in New York. On 
July 5, Rev. Manasseh Cutler, of Massachusetts, came into New 
York to lobby on the Northwestern territory. Everything seemed 
to fall into his hands. Events were ripe. The state of the public 
credit, the growing of Southern prejudice, the basis of his mission, 
his personal character, all combined to complete one of those sudden 


and marvelous revolutions of public sentiment that once in five "or 
ten centuries are seen to sweep over a country like the breath of the 

Cutler was a graduate of 1 ale. He had stuuioa and taken de- 
grees in the three learned professions, medicine, law, and divinity. 
He had published a scientific examination of the plants of New 
England. As a scientist in America his name stood second only to 
that of Franklin. He was a courtly gentleman of the old style, a 
man of commanding presence and of inviting face. The Southern 
members said they had never seen such a gentleman in the North. 
He came representing a Massachusetts company that desired to 
purchase a tract of land, now included in Ohio, for the purpose of 
planting a colony. It was a speculation. Government money wag 
worth eighteen cents on the dollar. This company had collected 
enough to purchase 1,500,000 acres of land. Other speculators in 
New York made Dr. Cutler their agent, which enabled him to 
represent a demand for 5,500,000 acres. As this would reduce the 
national debt, and Jefferson's policy was to provide for the public 
credit, it presented a good opportunity to do something. 

Massachusetts then owned the territory of Maine, which she was 
crowding on the market. She was opposed to opening the North- 
western region. This fired the zeal of Virginia. The South caught 
the inspiration, and all exalted Dr. Cutler. The entire South raL 
lied around him. Massachusetts could not vote against him, be- 
cause many of the constuitents of her members were interested 
personally in the Western speculation. Thus Cutler, making 
friends in the South, and doubtless using all the arts of the lobby, 
was enabled to command the situation. True to deeper convic- 
tions, he dictated one of the most compact and finished documents 
of wise statesmanship that has ever adorned any human law book. 
He borrowed from Jefferson the term "Articles of Compact," which, 
preceding the federal constitution, rose into the most 6acred char- 
acter. He then followed very closely the constitution of Massa- 
chusetts, adoDted three vears before. Its most orominent point*- 

1. The exclusion of slavery from the territory forever. 

2. Provision for public schools, giving one township for a semi- 
nary and every section numbered 16 in each township; that is, one 
thirty-sixth of all the land for public schools. 

3. A provision prohibiting the adoption of any constitution or 
the enactment of any law that should nullify pre-existing 1 contracts. 


Be it forever remembered that this compact declared that " re- 
ligion, morality, and knowledge being necessary to good govern- 
ment and the happiness of mankind, schools and the means of edu- 
cation shall always be encouraged." Dr. Cutler planted himself 
on this platform and would not yield. Giving his unqualified dec- 
laration that it was that or -nothing, — that unless they could make 
the land desirable they did not want it, — he took his horse and buggy 
and started for the constitutional convention at Philadelphia. On 
July 13, 1787, the bill was put upon its passage, and was unani- 
mously adopted. Thus the great States of Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, 
Michigan and Wisconsin, a vast empire, were consecrated to free 
dom, intelligence, and morality. Thus the great heart of the nation 
was prepared to save the union of States, for it was this act that was 
the salvation of the republic and the destruction of slavery. Soon 
the South saw their great blunder and tried to have the compact 
repealed. In 1803 Congress referred it to a committee, of which 
John Randolph was chairman. He reported that this ordinance 
was a compact and opposed repeal. Thus it stood, a rock in the 
way of the on-rushing sea of slavery. 

The " Northwestern Territory " included of course what is now 
the State of Indiana; and Oct 5, 1787, Maj. Gen. Arthur St. Clair 
was elected by Congress Governor of this territory. Upon 
commencing the duties of his office he was instructed to ascertain 
the real temper of the Indians and do all in his power to remove 
the causes for controversy between them and the United States, 
and to effect the extinguishment of Indian titles to all the land 
possible. The Governor took up quarters in the new settlement of 
Marietta, Ohio, where he immediately began the organization of 
the government of the territory. The first session of the General 
Court of the new territory was held at that place in 1788, the 
Judges being Samuel H. Parsons, James M. Varnum and John C. 
Symmes, but under the ordinance Gov. St. Clair was President of 
the Court. After the first session, and after the necessary laws for 
government were adopted, Gov. St. Clair, accompanied by the 
Judges, visited Kaskaskia for the purpose of organizing a civil gov- 
ernment there. Full instructions had been sent to Maj. Hamtramck, 
commandant at Vincennes, to ascertain the exact feeling and temper 
of the Indian tribes of the Wabash. These instructions were ac- 
companied by speeches to each of the tribes. A Frenchman named 
Antoine Gamelin was dispatched with these messages April 5, 1790, 
who visited nearly all the tribes on the Wabash, St. Joseph and St. 



Mary's rivers, but was coldly received ; most of the chiefs being 
dissatisfied with the policy of the Americans toward them, and 
prejudiced through English misrepresentation. Full accounts o; 
his adventures among the tribes reached Gov. St. Clair at Kaskas- 
kia in June, 1790. Being satisfied that there was no prospect of 
effecting a general peace with the Indians of Indiana, he resolved 
to visit Gen. Harmar at his headquarters at Fort Washington and 
consult with him on the means of carrying an expedition against 
the hostile Indians; but before leaving he intrusted Winthrop 
Sargent, the Secretary of the Territory, with the execution of the 
resolutions of Congress regarding the lands and settlers on the 
Wabash. He directed that officer to proceed to Yincennes, lay 
out a county there, establish the militia and appoint the necessary 
civil and military officers. Accordingly Mr. Sargent went to Yin- 
cennes and organized Camp Knox, appointed the officers, and noti- 
fied the inhabitants to present their claims to lands. In establish- 
ing these claims the settlers found great difficulty, and concerning 
this matter the Secretary in his report to the President wrote as 
follows : 

" Although the lands and lots which were awarded to the inhabi- 
tants appeared from very good oral testimony to belong to those 
persons to whom they were awarded, either by original grants, pur- 
chase or inheritance, yet there was scarcely one case in twenty 
where the title was complete, owing to the desultory manner in 
which public business had been transacted and some other unfor- 
tunate causes. The original concessions by the French and British 
commandants were generally made upon a small scrap of paper, 
which it has been customary to lodge in the notary's office, who 
has seldom kept any book of record, but committed the most im- 
portant land concerns to loose sheets, which in process of time 
have come into possession of persons that have fraudulently de- 
stroyed them; or, unacquainted with their consequence, innocently 
lost or trifled them away. By French usage they are considered 
family inheritances, and often descend to women and children. In 
one instance, and during the government of St. Ange here, a royal 
notary ran off with all the public papers in his possession, as by a 
certificate produced to me. And I am very sorry further to observe 
that in the office of Mr. Le Grand, which continued from 1777 to 
1787, and where should have been the vouchers for important land 
transactions, the records have been so falsified, and there is such 
gross fraud and forgery, as to invalidate all evidence and informa- 
tion which I might have otherwise acquired from his papers." 


Mr. Sargent says there were about 150 French families at Vin- 
cennes in 1790. The heads of all these families had been at some 
time vested with certain titles to a portion of the soil ; and while 
the Secretary was busy in straightening out these claims, he re- 
ceived a petition signed by 80 Americans., asking for the confirma- 
tion of grants of land ceded by the Court organized by Col. John 
Todd under the authority of Virginia. With reference to this 
cause, Congress, March 3, 1791, empowered the Territorial Governor, 
in cases where land had been actually improved and cultivated 
under a supposed grant for the same, to confirm to the persons who 
made such improvements the lands supposed to have been granted, 
not, however, exceeding the quantity of 400 acres to any one per- 


The General Court in the summer of 1790, Acting Governor 
Sargent presiding, passed the following laws with reference to 
vending liquor among the Indians and others, and with reference 
to games of chance: 

1. An act to prohibit the giving or selling intoxicating liquors 
to Indians residing in or coming into the Territory of the United 
States northwest of the river Ohio, and for preventing foreigners 
from trading with Indians therein. 

2. An act prohibiting the sale of spirituous or other intoxicat- 
ing liquors to soldiers in the service of the United States, being 
within ten miles of any military post in the territory; and to pre- 
vent the selling or pawning of arms, ammunition, clothing or 

3. An act prohibiting every species of gaming for money or 
property, and for making void contracts and payments made in 
consequence thereof, and for restraining the disorderly practice 
of discharging arms at certain hours and places. 

Winthrop Sargent's administration was highly eulogized by the 
citizens at Yincennes, in a testimonial drawn up and signed by a 
committee of officers. He had conducted the investigation and 
settlement of land claims to the entire satisfaction of the residents, 
had upheld the principles of free government in keeping with the 
animus of the American Revolution, and had established in good 
order the machinery of a good and wise government. In the same 
address Major Hamtramck also received a fair share of praise for 
his judicious management of affairs. 



Gov. St. Clair, on his arrival at Fort Washington from Kas- 
iaskia, had a long conversation with Gen. Harmar, and concluded 
to send a powerful force to chastise the savages about the head- 
waters of the Wabash. He had been empowered by the President 
to call on Virginia for 1,000 troops and on Pennsylvania for 500, 
and he immediately availed himself of this resource, ordering 300 
of the Virginia militia to muster at Fort Steuben and march with 
the garrison of that fort to Vincennes, and join Maj. Hamtramck, 
who had orders to call for aid from the militia of Vincennes, march 
up the Wabash, and attack any of the Indian villages which he 
might think he could overcome. The remaining 1,200 of the mi- 
litia were ordered to rendezvous at Fort Washington, and to join 
the regular troops at that post under command of Gen. Harmar. 
At this time the United States troops in the West were estimated 
by Gen. Harmar at 400 effective men. These, with the militia, 
gave him a force of 1,450 men. With this army Gen. Harmar 
marched from Fort Washington Sept. 30, and arrived at the Mau- 
mee Oct. 17. They commenced the work of punishing the Indians, 
but were not very successful. The savages, it is true, received a 
severe scourging, but the militia behaved so badly as to be of little 
or no service. A detachment of 340 militia and 60 regulars, under 
the command of Col. Hardin, were sorely defeated on the Maumee 
Oct. 22. The next day the army took up the line of march for 
Fort Washington, which place they reached Nov. 4, having lost in 
the expedition 183 killed and 31 wounded; the Indians lost about 
as many. During the progress of this expedition Maj. Hamtramck 
marched up the Wabash from Vincennes, as far as the Vermillion 
river, and destroyed several deserted villages, but without finding 
an enemy to oppose him. 

Although the savages seem to have been severely punished by 
these expeditions, yet they refused to sue for peace, and continued 
their hostilities. Thereupon the inhabitants of the frontier settle- 
ments of Virginia took alarm, and the delegates of Ohio, Monon- 



gahela, Harrison, Kandolph, Greenbrier, Kanawha and Mont- 
gomery counties sent a joint memorial to the Governor of Vir- 
ginia, saying that the defenseless condition of the counties, form- 
ing a line of nearly 400 miles along the Ohio river, exposed to the 
hostile invasion of their Indian enemies, destitute of every kind of 
support, was truly alarming; for, notwithstanding all the regula- 
tions of the General Government in that country, they have reason 
to lament that they have been up to that time ineffectual for their 
protection ; nor indeed could it be otherwise, for the garrisons kept 
by the Continental troops on the Ohio river, if of any use at all, 
must protect only the Kentucky settlements, as they immediately 
covered that country. They further stated in their memorial: "We 
beg leave to observe that we have reason to fear that the conse- 
quences of the defeat of our army by the Indians in the late expe- 
dition will be severely felt on our frontiers, as there is no doubt 
that the Indians will, in their turn, being flushed with victory, in- 
vade our settlements and exercise all their horrid murder upon the 
inhabitants thereof whenever the weather will permit them to 
travel. Then is it not better to support us where we are, be the ex- 
pense what it may, than to oblige such a number of your brave 
citizens, who have so long supported, and still continue to support, 
a dangerous frontier (although thousands of their relatives in the 
flesh have in the prosecution thereof fallen a sacrifice to savage in- 
ventions) to quit the country, after all they have done and suffered, 
when you know that a frontier must be supported somewhere?" 

This memorial .caused the Legislature of Virginia to authorize 
the Governor of that State to make any defensive operations neces- 
sary for the temporary defense of the frontiers, until the general 
Government could adopt and carry out measures to suppress the 
hostile Indians. The Governor at once called upon the military 
commanding officers in the western counties of Virginia to raise by 
the first of March, 1791, several small companies of rangers for this 
purpose. At the same time Charles Scott was appointed Brigadier- 
General of the Kentucky militia, with authority to raise 226 vol- 
unteers, to protect the most exposed portions of that district. A 
full report of the proceedings of the Virginia Legislature being 
transmitted to Congress, that body constituted a local Board of 
War for the district of Kentucky, consisting of five men. March 9, 
1791, Gen. Henry Knox, Secretary of War, sent a letter of instruc- 
tions to Gen. Scott, recommending an expedition of mounted men 
not exceeding 750, against the Wea towns on the Wabash. With 


this force Gen. Scott accordingly crossed the Ohio, May 23, 1791, 
and reached the "Wabash in about ten days. Many of the Indians, 
having discovered his approach, fled, but he succeeded in destroy- 
ing all the villages around Ouiatenon, together with several Kick- 
apoo towns, killing 32 warriors and taking 58 prisoners. He 
released a few of the most infirm prisoners, giving them a " talk," 
which they carried to the towns farther up the Wabash, and which 
the wretched condition of his horses prevented him from reaching. 

March 3, 1791, Congress provided for raising and equipping a 
regiment for the protection of the frontiers, and Gov. St. Clair was 
invested with the chief command of about 3,000 troops, to be raised 
and employed against the hostile Indians in the territory over 
which his jurisdiction extended. He was instructed by the Secre- 
tary of "War to march to the Miami village and establish a strong 
and permanent military post there; also such posts elsewhere along 
the Ohio as would be in communication with Fort Washington. 
The post at Miami village was intended to keep the savages in that 
vicinity in check, and was ordered to be strong enough in its gar- 
rison to afford a detachment of 500 or 600 men in case of emer- 
gency, either to chastise any of the Wabash or other hostile Indians 
or capture convoys of the enemy's provisions. The Secretary of 
War also urged Gov. St. Clair to establish that post as the first and 
most important part of the campaign. In case of a previous 
treaty the Indians were to be conciliated upon this point if possible; 
and he presumed good arguments might be offered to induce their 
acquiescence. Said he: " Having commenced your march upon the 
main expedition, and the Indians continuing hostile, you will use 
every possible exertion to make them feel the effects of your superi- 
ority; and, after having arrived at the Miami village and put your 
works in a defensible state, you will seek the enemy with the whole 
of your remaining force, and endeavor by all possible means to 
strike them with great severity. * * * * 

In order to avoid future wars, it might be proper to make the Wa- 
bash and thence over to the Maumee, and down the same to its 
mouth, at Lake Erie, the boundary between the people of the 
United States and the Indians (excepting so far as the same should 
relate to the Wyandots and Delawares), on the supposition of their 
continuing faithful to the treaties; but if they should join ( in the 
war against the United States, and your army be victorious, the 
said tribes ought to be removed without the boundary mentioned." 

Previous to marching a strong force to the Miami town, Gov. St. 


Clair, June 25, 1791, authorized Gen Wilkinson to conduct a second 
expedition, not exceeding 500 mounted men, against the Indian 
villages on the Wabash. Accordingly Gen. Wilkinson mustered 
his forces and was ready July 20, to march with 525 mounted vol- 
unteers, well armed, and provided with 30 days' provisions, and 
with this force he reached the Ke-na-pa-com-a-qua village on the 
north bank of Eel river about six miles above its mouth, Aug. 7, 
where he killed six warriors and took 34 prisoners. This town, 
which was scattered along the river for three miles, was totally de- 
stroyed. Wilkinson encamped on the ruins of the town that night, 
and the next day he commenced his march for the Kickapoo town 
on the prairie, which he was unable to reach owing to the impassa- 
ble condition of the route which he adopted and the failing condi- 
tion of his horses. He reported the estimated results of the expe- 
dition as follows: " I have destroyed the chief town of the Ouiate- 
non nation, and have made prisoners of the sons and sisters of the 
king. I have burned a respectable Kickapoo village, and cut down 
at least 400 acres of corn, chiefly in the milk." 


The Indians were greatly damaged by the expeditions of Harmar, 
Scott and Wilkinson, but were far from being subdued. They 
regarded the policy of the United States as calculated to extermi- 
nate them from the land; and, goaded on by the English of Detroit, 
enemies of the Americans, they were excited to desperation. At 
this time the British Government still supported garrisons at 
Niagara, Detroit and Michilimackinac, although it was declared by 
the second article of the definitive treaty of peace of 1783, that 
the king of Great Britain would, " with all convenient speed, and 
without causing any destruction or carrying away any negroes or 
property of the American inhabitants, withdraw all his forces, 
garrisons and fleets from the United States, and from every post, 
place and harbor within the same." That treaty also provided that 
the creditors on either side should meet with no lawful impedi- 
ments to the recovery of the full value, in sterling money, of all 
bona fide debts previously contracted. The British Government 
claimed that the United States had broken faith in this particular 
understanding of the treaty, and in consequence refused to with- 
draw its forces from the territory. The British garrisons in the 
Lake Region were a source of much annoyance to the Americans, 
as they afforded enccor xo iiostile Indians, encouraging them to 


make raids among the Americans. This state of affairs in the 
Territory Northwest of the Ohio continued from the commence- 
ment of the Revolutionary war to 1796, when under a second 
treaty all British soldiers were withdrawn from the country. 

In September, 1791, St. Clair moved from Fort Washington 
with about 2,000 men, and November 3, the main army, consisting 
of about 1,400 effective troops, moved forward to the head- waters 
of the Wabash, where Fort Recovery was afterward erected, and 
here the army encamped. About 1,200 Indians were secreted a few 
miles distant, awaiting a favorable opportunity to begin an attack, 
which they improved on the morning of !Nov. 4, about half an hour 
before sunrise. The attack was first made upon the militia, which 
immediately gave way. St. Clair was defeated and he returned to 
Fort Washington with a broken and dispirited army, having lost 
39 officers killed, and 539 men killed and missing; 22 officers and 
232 men were wounded. Several pieces of artillery, and all the 
baggage, ammunition and provisions were left on the field of bat- 
tle and fell into the hands of the victorious Indians. The stores 
and other public property lost in the action were valued at $32,800. 
There were also 100 or more American women with the army of 
the whites, very few of whom escaped the cruel carnage of the sav- 
age Indians. The latter, characteristic of their brutal nature, 
proceeded in the flush of victory to perpetrate the most horrible 
acts of cruelty and brutality upon the bodies of the living and the 
dead Americans who fell into their hands. Believing that the 
whites had made war for many years merely to acquire land, the 
Indians crammed clay and sand into the eyes and down the throats 
of the dying and the dead! 

gen. wayne's great victory. 

Although no particular blame was attached to Gov. St. Clair for 
the loss in this expedition, yet he resigned the office of Major-Gen- 
eral, and was succeeded by Anthony Wayne, a distinguished 
officer of the Revolutionary war. Early in 1792 provisions were 
made by the general Government for re-organizing the army, so 
that it should consist of an efficient degree of strength. Wayne 
arrived at Pittsburg in June, where the army was to rendezvous. 
Here he continued actively engaged in organizing and training his 
forces until October, 1793, when with an army of about 3,600 men 
he moved westward to Fort Washington. 

While Wayne was preparing for an offensive campaign, every 


possible means was employed to induce the hostile tribes of the 
Northwest to enter into a general treaty of peace with the Ameri- 
can Government; speeches were sent among them, and agents to 
make treaties were also sent, but little was accomplished. Major 
Hamtramck, who still remained at Vincennes, succeeded in con- 
cluding a general peace with the Wabash and Illinois Indians; but 
the tribes more immediately under the influence of the British 
refused to hear the sentiments of friendship that were sent among 
them, and tomahawked several of the messengers. Their courage 
had been aroused by St. Cldr's defeat, as well as by the unsuccess- 
ful expeditions which had preceded it, and they now felt quite pre- 
pared to meet a superior force under Gen. Wayne. The Indians 
insisted on the Ohio river as the boundary line between their lands 
and the lands of the United States, and felt certain that they could 
maintain that boundary. 

Maj. Gen. Scott, with about 1,600 mounted volunteers from 
Kentucky, joined the regular troops under Gen. Wayne July 26, 
1794, and on the 28th the united forces began their march for the 
Indian towns on the Maumee river. Arriving at the mouth of 
the Auglaize, they erected Fort Defiance, and Aug. 15 the army 
advanced toward the British fort at the foot of the rapids of the 
Maumee, where, on the 20th, almost within reach of the British, 
the American army gained a decisive victory over the combined 
forces of the hostile Indians and a considerable number of the 
Detroit militia. The number of the enemy was estimated at 2,000, 
against about 900 American troops actually engaged. This horde 
of savages, as soon as the action began, abandoned themselves to 
flight and dispersed with terror and dismay, leaving Wayne's vic- 
torious army in full and quiet possession of the field. The Ameri- 
cans lost 33 killed and 100 wounded; loss of the enemy more than 
double this number. 

The army remained three days and nights on the banks of the 
Maumee, in front of the field of battle, during which time all the 
houses and cornfields were consumed and destroyed for a considera- 
ble distance both above and below Fort Miami, as well as within 
pistol shot of the British garrison, who were compelled to remain 
idle spectators to this general devastation and conflagration, among 
which were the houses, stores and property of Col. McKee, the 
British Indian agent and " principal stimulator of the war then 
existing between the United States and savages." On the return 
march to Fort Defiance the villages and cornfields for about 50 


miles on each side of the Maumee were destroyed, as well as those 
for a considerable distance around that post. 

Sept. 14, 1794, the army under Gen. Wayne commenced its 
march toward the deserted Miami villages at the confluence of St. 
Joseph's and St. Mary's rivers, arriving Oct. 17, and on the follow- 
ing day the site of Fort Wayne was selected. The fort was com- 
pleted Nov. 22, and garrisoned by a strong detachment of infantry 
and artillery, under the command of Col. John F. Hamtramck, who 
gave to the new fort the name of Fort Wayne. In 1814 a new fort 
was built on the site of this structure. The Kentucky volunteers 
returned to Fort Washington and were mustered out of service. 
Gen. Wayne, with the Federal troops, marched to Greenville and 
took up his headquarters during the winter. Here, in August, 
1795, after several months of active negotiation, this gallant officer 
succeeded in concluding a general treaty of peace with all the hos- 
tile tribes of the Northwestern Territory. This treaty opened the 
way for the flood of immigration for many years, and ultimately 
made the States and territories now constituting the mighty North- 

Up to the organization of the Indiana Territory there is but little 
history to record aside from those events connected with military 
affairs. In July, 1796, as before stated, after a treaty was con- 
cluded between the United States and Spain, the British garrisons, 
with their arms, artillery and stores, were withdrawn from the 
posts within the boundaries of the United States northwest of the 
Ohio river, and a detachment of American troops, consisting of 65 
men, under the command of Capt. Moses Porter, took possession 
of the evacuated post of Detroit in the same month. 

In the latter part of 1796 Winthrop Sargent went to Detroit and 
organized the county of Wayne, forming a part of the Indiana 
Territory until its division in 1805, when the Territory of Michigan 
was organized. 



On the final success of American arms and diplomacy in 1796, 
the principal town within the Territory, now the State, of Indiana 
was Yincennes, which at this time comprised about 50 houses, all 
presenting a thrifty and tidy appearance. Each house was sur- 
rounded by a garden fenced with poles, and peach and apple-trees 
grew in most of the enclosures. Garden vegetables of all kinds 
were cultivated with success, and corn, tobacco, wheat, barley and 
cotton grew in the fields around the village in abundance. During 
the last few years of the 18th century the condition of society at 
Yincennes improved wonderfully. 

Besides Yincennes there was a small settlement near where the 
town of Lawrenceburg now stands, in Dearborn county, and in the 
course of that year a small settlement was formed at " Armstrong's 
Station," on the Ohio, within the present limits of Clark county. 
There were of course several other smaller settlements and trading 
posts in the present limits of Indiana, and the number of civilized 
inhabitants comprised within the territory was estimated at 4,875. 

The Territory of Indiana was organized by Act of Congress May 
7, 1800, the material parts of the ordinance of 1787 remaining in 
force; and the inhabitants were invested with all the rights, privi- 
leges and advantages granted and secured to the people by that 
ordinance. The seat of government was fixed at Yincennes. May 
13, 1800, Wm. Henry Harrison, a native ot Yirginia, was appoint- 
ed Governor of this new territory, and on the next day John Gib- 
son, a native of Pennsylvania and a distinguished Western pioneer, 
(to whom the Indian chief Logan delivered his celebrated speech in 
1774), was appointed Secretary of the Territory. Soon afterward 
"Wm. Clark, Henry Yanderburgh and John Griffin were appointed 
territorial Judges. 

Secretary Gibson arrived at Yincennes in July, and commenced, 
in the absence of Gov. Harrison, the administration of government. 
Gov. Harrison did not arrive until Jan. 10, 1801, when he imme- 
diately called together the Judges of the Territory, who proceeded 



to pass such laws as they deemed necessary for the present govern- 
ment of the Territory. This session began March 3, 1801. 

From this time to 1810 the principal subjects which attracted the 
attention of the people of Indiana were land speculations, the 
adjustment of land titles, the question of negro slavery, the purchase 
of Indian lands by treaties, the organization of Territorial legis- 
latures, the extension of the right of suffrage, the division of 
Indiana Territory, the movements of Aaron Burr, and the hostile 
views and proceedings of the Shawanee chief, Tecumseh, and his 
brother, the Prophet. 

Up to this time the sixth article of the celebrated ordinance of 
1787, prohibiting slavery in the Northwestern Territory, had been 
somewhat neglected in the execution of the law, and many French 
settleis still held slaves in a manner. In some instances, according 
to -rules prescribed by Territorial legislation, slaves agreed by 
indentures to remain in servitude under their masters for a certain 
number of years; but many slaves, with whom no such contracts 
were made, were removed from the Indiana Territory either to the 
west of the Mississippi or to some of the slaveholding States. 
Gov. Harrison convoked a session of delegates of the Territory, 
elected by a popular vote, who petitioned Congress to declare the 
sixth article of the ordinance of 1787, prohibiting slavery, suspend- 
ed; but Congress never consented to grant that petition, and many 
other petitions of a similar import. Soon afterward some of the 
citizens began to take colored persons out of the Territory for the 
purpose of selling them, and Gov. Harrison, by a proclamation 
April 6, 1804, forbade it, and called upon the authorities of the 
Territory to assist him in preventing such removal of persons 
of color. 

During the year 1804 all the country west of the Mississippi and 
north of 33° was attached to Indiana Territory by Congress, but in 
a few months was again detached and organized into a separate ter- 
ritory . 

When it appeared from the result of a popular vote in the Terri- 
tory that a majority of 138 freeholders were in favor of organizing 
a General Assembly, Gov. Harrison, Sept. 11, 1804, issued a procla- 
mation declaring that the Territory had passed into the second grade 
of government, as contemplated by the ordinance of 1787, and 
fixed Thursday, Jan. 3, 1805, as the time for holding an election in 
the several counties of the Territory,to choose members of a House 
of Representatives, who should meet at Vincennes Feb. 1 and 


adopt measures for the organization of a Territorial Council. These 
delegates were elected, and met according to the proclamation, and 
selected ten men from whom the President of the United States, 
Mr. Jefferson, should appoint five to be and constitute the Legisla- 
tive Council of the Territory, but he declining, requested Mr. Har- 
rison to make the selection, which was accordingly done. Before 
the first session of this Council, however, was held, Michigan Ter- 
ritory was set off, its south line being one drawn from the southern 
end of Lake Michigan directly east to Lake Erie. 


The first General Assembly, or Legislature, of Indiana Territory 
met at Vincennes July 29, 1805, in pursuance of a gubernatorial 
proclamation. The members of the House of Representatives were 
Jesse B. Thomas, of Dearborn county ; Davis Floyd, of Clark county ; 
Benjamin Parke and John Johnson, of Knox county; Shadrach 
Bond and William Biggs, of St. Clair county, and George Fisher, 
of Randolph county. July 30 the Governor delivered his first mes- 
sage to "the Legislative Council and House of Representatives of 
the Indiana Territory." Benjamin Parke was the first delegate 
elected to Congress. He had emigrated from New Jersey to In- 
diana in 1801. 


was the first newspaper published in the Indiana Territory, now 
comprising the four great States of Indiana, Illinois, Michigan and 
Wisconsin, and the second in all that country once known as the 
"Northwestern Territory." It was commenced at Vincennes in 
1803, by Elihu Stout, of Kentucky, and first called the Indiana 
Gazette, and July, 4, 1804, was changed to the Western Sun. Mr. 
Stout continued the paper until 1845, amid many discouragements, 
when he was appointed postmaster at the place, and he sold out 
the office. 

INDIANA in 1810. 

The events which we have just been describing really constitute 
the initiatory steps to the great military campaign of Gen. Harrison 
which ended in the "battle of Tippecanoe;" but before proceeding 
to an account of that brilliant affair, let us take a glance at the re- 
sources and strength of Indiana Territory at this time, 1810: 

Total population, 24,520; 33 grist mills: 14 saw mills; 3 horse 
mills; 18 tanneries; 28 distilleries; 3 powder mills; 1,256 looms; 


1,350 spinning wheels; value of manufactures — woolen, cotton 
hempen and flaxen cloths, $159,052; of cotton and wool spun in 
mills, $150,000; of nails, 30,000 pounds, $4,000; of leather tanned, 
$9,300; of distillery products, 35,950 gallons, $16,230; of gun- 
powder, 3,600 pounds, $1,800; of wine from grapes, 96 barrels, 
$6,000, and 5 0,000 pounds of maple sugar. 

During the year 1810 a Board of Commissioners was established 
to straighten out the confused condition into which the land- title 
controversy had been carried by the various and conflicting admin- 
istrations that had previously exercised jurisdiction in this regard. 
This work was attended with much labor on the part of the Commis- 
sioners and great dissatisfaction on the part of a few designing specu- 
lators, who thought no extreme of perjury too hazardous in their 
mad attempts to obtain lands fraudulently. In closing their report 
the Commissioners used the following expressive language: "We 
close this melancholy picture of human depravity by rendering our 
devout acknowledgment that, in the awful alternative in which we 
have been placed, of either admitting perjured testimony in sup- 
port of the claims before us, or having it turned against our char- 
acters and lives, it has as yet pleased that divine providence which 
rules over the affairs of men, to preserve us, both from legal mur- 
der and private assassination." 

The question of dividing the Territory of Indiana was agitated 
from 1806 to 1809, when Congress erected the Territory of Illinois, 
to comprise all that part of Indiana Territory lying west of the 
Wabash river and a direct line drawn from that river and Post 
Vincennes due north to the territorial line between the United 
States and Canada. This occasioned some confusion in the govern- 
ment of Indiana, but in due time the new elections were confirmed, 
and the new territory started off on a journey of prosperity which 
this section of the United States has ever since enjoyed. 

From the first settlement of Yincennes for nearly half a century 
there occurred nothing of importance to relate, at least so far as 
the records inform us. The place was too isolated to grow very 
fast, and we suppose there was a succession of priests and com- 
mandants, who governed the little world around them with almost 
infinite power and authority, from whose decisions there was no 
appeal, if indeed any was ever desired. The character of society 
in such a place would of course grow gradually different from the 
parent society, assimilating more or less with that of neighboring 
tribes. The whites lived in peace with the Indians, each under- 


standing the other's peculiarities, which remained fixed long 
enough for both parties to study out and understand them. The 
government was a mixture of the military and the civil. There 
was little to incite to enterprise. Speculations in money and prop- 
erty, and their counterpart, beggary, were both unknown; the nec- 
essaries of life were easily procured, and beyond these there were 
but few wants to be supplied; hospitality was exercised by all, as 
there were no taverns; there seemed to be no use for law, judges 
or prisons; each district had its commandant, and the proceedings 
of a trial were singular. The complaining party obtained a notifi- 
cation from the commandant to his adversary, accompanied by a 
command to render justice. If this had no effect he was notified 
to appear before the commandant on a particular day and answer; 
and if the last notice was neglected, a sergeant and file of men 
were sent to bring him, — no sheriff and no costs. The convicted 
party would be fined and kept in prison until he rendered justice 
according to the decree; when extremely refractory the cat-o'-nine- 
tails brought him to a sense of justice. In such a state of society 
there was no demand for learning and science. Few could read, 
and still fewer write. Their disposition was nearly always to deal 
honestly, at least simply. Peltries were their standard of value. 
A brotherly love generally prevailed. But they were devoid of 
public spirit, enterprise or ingenuity. 


Immediately after the organization of Indiana Territory Governor 
Harrison's attention was directed, by neoessity as well as by in- 
structions from Congress, to settling affairs with those Indians who 
still held claims to lands. He entered into several treaties, by 
which at the close of 1805 the United States Government had ob- 
tained about 46,000 square miles of territory, including all the 
lands lying on the borders of the Ohio river between the mouth of 
the "Wabash river and the State of Ohio. 

The levying of a tax, especially a poll tax, by the General Assem- 
bly, created considerable dissatisfaction among many of the inhabit- 
ants. At a meeting held Sunday, August 16, 1807, a number of 
Frenchmen resolved to " withdraw their confidence and support 
forever from those men who advocated or in any manner promoted 
the second grade of government." 

In 1807 the territorial statutes were revised and under the new 
code, treason, murder, arson and horse-stealing were each punish- 
able by death. The crime of manslaughter was punishable by the 
common law. Burglary and robbery were punishable by whip- 
ping, fine and in some cases by imprisonment not exceeding forty 
years. Hog stealing was punishable by fine and whipping. Bigamy 
was punishable by fine, whipping and disfranchisement, etc. 

In 1804 Congress established three land offices for the sale of 
lands in Indiana territory; one was located at Detroit, one at Vin- 
cennes and one at Kaskaskia. In 1807 a fourth one was opened at 
Jefferson ville, Clark county; this town was first laid out in 1802, 
agreeably to plans suggested by Mr. Jefferson then President of 
the United States. 

Governor Harrison, according to his message to the Legislature 
in 1806, seemed to think that the peace then existing between the 
whites and the Indians was permanent; but in the same document 
he referred to a matter that might be a source of trouble, which in- 
deed it proved to be, namely, the execution of white laws among 
the Indians — laws to which the latter had not been a party in their 
enactment. The trouble was aggravated by the partiality with 
which the laws seem always to have been executed; the Indian 



was nearly always the sufferer. All along from 1805 to 1810 the 
Indians complained bitterly against the encroachments of the white 
people npon the lands that belonged to them. The invasion of their 
hunting grounds and the unjustifiable killing of many of their peo- 
ple were the sources of their discontent. An old chief, in laying 
the trouble of his people before Governor Harrison, said : " You 
call us children ; why do you not make us as happy as our fathers, 
the French, did? They never took from us our lands; indeed, they 
were common between us. They planted where they pleased, and 
they cut wood where they pleased; and so did we; but now if a 
poor Indian attempts to take a little bark from a tree to cover him 
from the rain, up comes a white man and threatens to shoot him, 
claiming the tree as his own." 

The Indian truly had grounds for his complaint, and the state of 
feeling existing among the tribes at this time was well calculated 
to develop a patriotic leader who should carry them all forward to 
victory at arms, if certain concessions were not made to them by the 
whites. But this golden opportunity was seized by an unworthy 
warrior. A brother of Tecumseh, a "prophet" named Law-le-was-i- 
kaw, buu who assumed the name of Peras-quat-a-wah (Open Door), 
was the crafty Shawanee warrior who was enabled to work upon 
both the superstitions and the rational judgment of his fellow In- 
diane. He was a good orator, somewhat peculiar in his appearance 
and well calculated to win the attention and respect of the savages. 
He began by denouncing witchcraft, the use of intoxicating liquors, 
the custom of Indian women marrying white men, the dress of the 
whites and the practice of selling Indian lands to the United States. 
He also told the Indians that the commands of the Great Spirit re- 
quired them to punish with death those who practiced the arts of 
witchcraft and magic; that the Great Spirit had given him power 
to find out and expose such persons; that he had power to cure all 
diseases, to copfound his enemies and to stay the arm of death in 
sickness and on the battle-field. His harangues aroused among 
some bands of Indians a high degree of superstitious excitement. 
An old Delaware chief named Ta-te-bock-o-she, through whose in- 
fluence a treaty had been made with the Delawares in 1804, waa 
accused of witchcraft, tried, condemned and tomahawked, and 
his body consumed by fire. The old chief's wife, nephew 
("Billy Patterson ") and an aged Indian named Joshua were next 
accused of witchcraft and condemned to death. The two men were 
burned at the stake, but the wife of Ta-te-bock-o-she was saved from 



death by her brother, who suddenly approached her, took her by the 
hand, and, without meeting any opposition from the Indians present, 
led her out of the council- house. He then immediately returned and 
checked the growing influence of the Prophet by exclaiming in a 
strong, earnest voice, " The Evil Spirit has come among us and we 
are killing each other." — [Dillon's History of Indiana. 

When Gov. Harrison was made acquainted with these events he 
sent a special messenger to the Indians, strongly entreating them to 
renounce the Prophet and his works. This really destroyed to some 
extent the Prophet's influence; but in the spring of 1808, having 
aroused nearly all the tribes of the Lake Region, the Prophet with 
a large number of followers settled near the mouth of the Tippe- 
canoe river, at a place which afterward had the name of "Prophet's- 
Town." Taking advantage of his brother's influence, Tecuraseh 
actively engaged himself in forming the various tribes into a con- 
federacy. He announced publicly to all the Indians that the 
treaties by which the United States had acquired lands northwest 
of the Ohio were not made in fairness, and should be considered 
void. He also said that no single tribe was invested with power to 
sell lands without the consent of all the other tribes, and that he 
and his brother, the Prophet, would oppose and resist all future 
attempts which the white people might make to extend their set- 
tlements in the lands that belonged to the Indians. 

Early in 1808, Gov. Harrison sent a speech to the Shawanees, 
in which was this sentence: " My children, this business must be 
stopped ; I will no longer suffer it. You have called a number of 
men from the most distant tribes to listen to a fool, who speaks 
not the words of the Great Spirit but those of the devil and the 
British agents. My children, your conduct has much alarmed the 
white settlers near you. They desire that you will send away those 
people; and if they wish to have the impostor with them they can 
carry him along with them. Let him go to the lakes; he can hear 
the British more distinctly." This message wounded the pride of 
the Prophet, and he prevailed on the messenger to inform Gov. 
Harrison that he was not in league with the British, but was speak- 
ing truly the words of the Great Spirit. 

In the latter part of the summer of 1808, the Prophet spent sev- 
eral weeks at Vincennes, for the purpose of holding interviews 
with Gov. Harrison. At one time he told the Governor that he 
was a Christian and endeavored to persuade his people also to 
become Christians, abandon the use of liquor, be united in broth- 


erly love, etc., making Mr. Harrison believe at least, that he was 
honest; but before long it was demonstrated that the "Prophet" 
was designing, cunning and unreliable; that both he and Tecumseh 
were enemies of the United States, and friends of the English; and 
that in case of a war between the Americans and English, they 
would join the latter. The next year the Prophet again visited 
Vincennes, with assurances that he was not in sympathy with the 
English, but the Governor was not disposed to believe him; and in 
a letter to the Secretary of War, in July, 1809, he said that he 
regarded the bands of Indians at Prophet's Town as a combination 
which had been produced by British intrigue and influence, in antic- 
ipation of a war between them and the United States. 

In direct opposition to Tecumseh and the prophet and in spite 
of all these difficulties, Gov. Harrison continued the work of extin- 
guishing Indian titles to lands, with very good success. By the 
close of 1809, the total amount of land ceded to the United States, 
under treaties which had been effected by Mr. Harrison, exceeded 
30,000,000 a:-res. 

From 1805 to 1807, the movements of Aaron Burr in the Ohio 
valley created considerable excitement in Indiana. It seemed that 
he intended to collect a force of men, invade Mexico and found a 
republic there, comprising all the country west of the Alleghany 
mountains. He gathered, however, but a few men, started south, 
and was soon arrested by the Federal authorities. But before his 
arrest he had abandoned his expedition and his followers had 


While the Indians were combining to prevent any further trans- 
fer of land to the whites, the British were using the advantage as a 
groundwork for a successful war upon the Americans. In the 
spring of 1810 the followers of the Prophet refused to receive their 
annuity of salt, and the officials who offered it were denounced as 
"American dogs," and otherwise treated in a disrespectful manner. 
Gov. Harrison, in July, attempted to gain the friendship of the 
Prophet by sending him a letter,offering to treat with him person- 
ally in the matter of his grievances, or to furnish means to send 
him, with three of his principal chiefs, to the President at Wash- 
ington; but the messenger was coldly received, and they returned 
word that they would visit Vincennes in a few days and interview 
the Governor. Accordingly, Aug. 12, 1810, the Shawanee chief 
with 70 of his principal warriors, marched up to the door of the 


Governor's house, and from that day until the 22d held daily inter- 
views with His Excellency. In all of his speeches Tecumseh was 
haughty, and sometimes arrogant. On the 20th he delivered that 
celebrated speech in which he gave the Governor the alternative of 
returning their lands or meeting them in battle. 

While the Governor was replying to this speech Tecumseh' inter- 
rupted him with an angry exclamation, declaring that the United 
States, through Gov. Harrison, had "cheated and imposed on the 
Indians." "When Tecumseh first rose, a number of his party also 
sprung to their feet, armed with clubs, tomahawks and spears, and 
made some threatening demonstrations. The Governor's guards, 
who stood a little way off, were marched up in haste, and the In- 
dians, awed by the presence of this small armed force, abandoned 
what seemed to be an intention to make an open attack on the Gov- 
ernor and his attendants. As soon as Tecumseh's remarks were 
interpreted, the Governor reproached him for his conduct, and com- 
manded him to depart instantly to his camp. 

On the following day Tecumseh repented of his rash act and re- 
quested the Governor to grant him another interview, and pro- 
tested against any intention of offense. The Governor consented, 
and the council was re-opened on the 21st, when the Shawanee 
chief addressed him in a respectful and dignified manner, but re- 
mained immovable in his policy. The Governor then requested 
Tecumseh to state plainly whether or not the surveyors who might 
be sent to survey the lands purchased at the treaty of Fort Wayne 
in 1809, would be molested by Indians. Tecumseh replied: 
"Brother, when you speak of annuities to me, I look at the land 
and pity the women and children. I am authorized to say that they 
will not receive them. Brother, we want to save that piece of land. 
We do not wish you to take it. It is small enough for our purpose. 
If you do take it, you must blame yourself as the cause of the 
trouble between us and the tribes who sold it to you. I want the 
present boundary line to continue. Should you cross it, I assure 
you it will be productive of bad consequences." 

The next day the Governor, attended only by his interpreter, 
visited the camp of the great Shawanee, and in the course of a long 
interview told him that the President of the United States would 
not acknowledge his claims. "Well," replied the brave warrior, 
"as the great chief is to determine the matter, I hope the Great 
Spirit will put sense enough into his head to induce him to direct 
you to give up this land. It is true, he is so far off he will not be 


injured by the war. He may sit still in his town and drink his 
wine, while you and I will have to fight it out." 

In his message to the new territorial Legislature in 1810 Gov. 
Harrison called attention to the dangerous views held by Tecumseh 
and the Prophet, to the pernicious influence of alien enemies 
among the Indians, to the unsettled condition of the Indian trade 
and to the policy of extinguishing Indian titles to lands. The 
eastern settlements were separated from the western by a consider- 
able extent of Indian lands, and the most fertile tracts within the 
territory were still in the hands of the Indians. Almost entirely 
divested of the game from which they had drawn their subsistence, 
it had become of little use to them; and it was the intention of 
the Government to substitute for the precarious and scanty sup- 
plies of the chase the more certain and plentiful support of agri- 
culture and stock-raising. The old habit of the Indians to hunt 
so long as a deer could be found was so inveterate that they would 
not break it and resort to intelligent agriculture unless they were 
compelled to, and to this they would not be compelled unless they 
were confined to a limited extent of territory. The earnest lan- 
guage of the Governor's appeal was like this: "Are then those 
extinguishments of native title which are at once so beneficial to 
the Indian and the territory of the United States, to be suspended on 
account of the intrigues of a few individuals? Is one of the fair- 
est portions of the globe to remain in a state of nature, the haunt 
of a few wretched savages, when it seems destined by the Creator 
to give support to a large population, and to be the seat of civili- 
zation, of science and true religion?" 

In the same message the Governor also urged the establishment 
of a system of popular education. 

Among the acts passed by this session of the Legislature, one 
authorized the President and Directors of the Yincennes Public 
Library to raise $1,000 by lottery. Also, a petition was sent to 
Congress for a permanent seat of government for the Territory, and 
commissioners were appointed to select the site. 

With the beginning of the year 1811 the British agent for 
Indian affairs adopted measures calculated to secure the support of 
the savages in the war which at this time seemed almost inevitable. 
Meanwhile Gov. Harrison did all in bis power to destroy the influ- 
ence of Tecumseh and his brother and break up the Indian confed- 
eracy which was oeing organized in the interests of Great Britain. 
Pioneer settlers and the Indians naturally grew more and more 


aggressive and intolerant, committing depredations and murders, 
until the Governor felt compelled to send the following speech, 
substantially, to the two leaders of the Indian tribes: "This is the 
third year that all the white people in this country have been 
alarmed at your proceedings; you threaten us with war; you invite 
all the tribes north and west of you to join against us, while your 
warriors who have lately been here deny this. The tribes on the 
Mississippi have sent me word that you intended to murder me 
and then commence a war upon my people, and your seizing the salt 
I recently sent up the Wabash is also sufficient evidence of such 
intentions on your part. My warriors are preparing themselves, 
not to strike you, but to defend themselves and their women and 
children. You shall not surprise us, as you expect to do. Your 
intended act is a rash one: consider well of it. What can induce 
you to undertake such a thing when there is so little prospect of 
success? Do you really think that the handful of men you have 
about you are able to contend with the seventeen 'fires?' or even 
that the whole of the tribes united could contend against the Ken- 
tucky 'fire' alone? I am myself of the Long 'Knife fire.' As soon 
as they hear my voice you will see them pouring forth their swarms 
of hunting-shirt men as numerous as the musquitoes on the shores 
of the Wabash. Take care of their stings. It is not our wish to 
hurt you ; if we did, we certainly have power to do it. 

" You have also insulted the Government of the United States, 
by seizing the salt that was intended for other tribes. Satisfaction 
must be given for that also. You talk of coming to see me, attend- 
ed by all of your young men; but this must not be. If your inten- 
tions are good, you have no need to bring but a few of your young 
men with you. I must be plain with you. I will not suffer yon 
to come into our settlements with such a force. My advice is that 
you visit the President of the United States and lay your griev- 
ances before him. 

" With respect to the lands that were purchased last fall I can 
enter into no negotiations with you; the affair is with the Presi- 
dent. If you wish to go and see him, I will supply you with the 

" The person who delivers this is one of my war officers, and is a 
man in whom I have entire confidence; whatever he says to yon, 
although it may not be contained in this paper, you may believe 
comes from me. My friend Tecumseh, the bearer is a good man 
and a brave warrior; I hope you will treat him well. You are 


yourself a warrior, and all such should have esteem for each other." 

The bearer of this speech was politely received by Tecumseh, 
who replied to the Governor briefly that he should visit Vincennes 
in a few days. Accordingly he arrived July 27, 1811, bringing 
with him a considerable force of Indians, which created much 
alarm among the inhabitants. In view of an emergency Gov. 
Harrison reviewed his militia — about 750 armed men— and station- 
ed two companies and a detachment of dragoons on the borders of 
the town. At this interview Tecumseh held forth that he intended 
no war against the United States; that he would send messengers 
among the Indians to prevent murders and depredations on the 
white settlements; that the Indians, as well as the whites, who had 
committed murders, ought to be forgiven; that he had set the white 
people an example of forgiveness, which they ought to follow; 
that it was his wish to establish a union among all the Indian 
tribes; that the northern tribes were united; that he was going to 
visit the southern Indians, and then return to the Prophet's town. 
He said also that he would visit the President the next spring and 
settle all difficulties with him, and that he hoped no attempts would 
be made to make settlements on the lands which had been sold to 
the United States, at the treaty of Fort Wayne, because the Indians 
wanted to keep those grounds for hunting. 

Tecumseh then, with about 20 of his followers, left for the South, 
to induce the tribes in that direction to join his confederacy. 

By the way, a lawsuit was instituted by Gov. Harrison against a 
certain Wm. Mcintosh, for asserting that the plaintiff had cheated 
the Indians out of -their lands, and that by so doing he had made 
them enemies to the United States. The defendant was a wealthy 
Scotch resident of Vincenues, well educated, and a man of influence 
among the people opposed to Gov. Harrison's land policy. The 
jury rendered a verdict in favor of Harrison, assessing the damages 
at $4,000. In execution of the decree of Court a large quantity of 
the defendant's land was sold in the absence of Gov. Harrison; 
but some time afterward Harrison caused about two-thirds of the 
land to be restored to Mr. Mcintosh, and the remainder was given 
to some orphan children. 

Harrison's first movement was to erect a new fort on the Wabash 
river and to break up the assemblage of hostile Indians at the 
Prophet's town. For this purpose he ordered Col. Boyd's regiment 
of infantry to move from the falls of Ohio to Vincennes. When 
the military expedition organized by Gov, Harrison was nearly 


ready to march to the Prophet's to wn,severai Indian chiefs arrived 
at Vincennes Sept. 25, 1811, and declared that the Indians 
would comply with the demands of the Governor and disperse ; but 
this did not check the military proceedings. The army under com- 
mand of Harrison moved from Yincennes Sept. 26, and Oct. 3, en- 
countering no opposition from the enemy, encamped at the place 
where Fort Harrison was afterward built, and near where the city 
of Terre Haute now stands. On the night of the 11th a few hos- 
tile Indians approached the encampment and wounded one of the 
sentinels, which caused considerable excitement. The army was 
immediately drawn up in line of battle, and small detachments 
were sent in all directions; but the enemy could not be found. 
Then the Governor sent a message to Prophet's Town, requiring 
the Shawanees, "Winnebagoes, Pottawatomies and Kickapoos at 
that place to return to their respective tribes; he also required the 
Prophet to restore all the stolen horses in his possession, or to give 
satisfactory proof that such persons were not there, nor had lately 
been, under his control. To this message the Governor received 
no answer, unless that answer was delivered in the battle of Tip- 

The new fort on the Wabash was finished Oct. 28, and at the re- 
quest of all the subordinate officers it was called "Fort Harrison," 
near what is now Terre Haute. This fort was garrisoned with a 
small number of men under Lieutenant-Colonel Miller. On the 
29th the remainder of the army, consisting of 910 men, moved 
toward the Prophet's town; about 270 of the troops were mounted. 
The regular troops, 250 in number, were under the command of 
Col. Boyd. With this army the Governor marched to within a 
half mile of the Prophet's town, when a conference was opened 
with a distinguished chief, in high esteem with the Prophet, and 
he informed Harrison that the Indians were much surprised at the 
approach of the army, and had already dispatched a message to 
him by another route. Harrison replied that he would not attack 
them until he had satisfied himself that they would not comply 
with his demands; that he would continue his encampment on the 
Wabash, and on the following morning would have an interview 
with the prophet. Harrison then resumed his march, and, after 
some difficulty, selected a place to encamp — a spot not very desir- 
able. It was a piece of dry oak land rising about ten feet above 
the marshy prairie in front toward the Indian town, and nearly 
twice that height above a similar prairie in the rear, through which 


and near this bank ran a small stream clothed with willow and 
brush wood. Toward the left flank this highland widened consid- 
erably, but became gradually narrower in the opposite direction, 
and at the distance of 150 yards terminated in an abrupt point. 
The two columns of infantry occupied the front and rear of this 
ground, about 150 yards from each other on the left, and a little 
more thau half that distance on the right, flank. One flank was 
filled by two companies of mounted riflemen, 120 men, under com- 
mand of Major-General Wells, of the Kentucky militia, and one 
by Spencer's company of mounted riflemen, numbering 80 men. 
The front line was composed of one battalion of United States in- 
fantry, under command of Major Floyd, flanked on the right by 
two companies of militia, and on the left by one company. The 
rear line was composed of a battalion of United States troops, 
under command of Capt. Bean, acting as Major, and four companies 
of militia infantry under Lieutenant-Colonel Decker. The regular 
troops of this line joined the mounted riflemen under Gen. Wells, 
on the left flank, and Col. Decker's battalion formed an angle with 
Spencer's company on the left. Two troops of dragoons, about 60 
men in all, were encamped in the rear of the left flank, and Capt. 
Parke's troop, which was larger than the other two, in rear of 
the right line. For a night attack the order of encampment was 
the order of battle, and each man slept opposite his post in the 
line. In the formation of the troops single file was adopted, in 
order to get as great an extension of the lines as possible. 


No attack was made by the enemy until about 4 o'clock on the 
morning of Nov. 7, just after the Governor had arisen. The 
attack was made on the left flank. Only a single gun was fired by the 
sentinels or by the guard in that direction, which made no resist- 
ance, abandoning their posts and fleeing into camp; and the first 
notice which the troops of that line had of the danger was the yell 
of the savages within a short distance of them. But the men 
were courageous and preserved good discipline. Such of them as 
were awake, or easily awakened, seized arms and took their stations; 
others, who were more tardy, had to contend with the enemy in 
the doors of their tents. The storm first fell upon Capt. Barton's 
company of the Fourth United States Eegiment, and Capt. Geiger's 
company of mounted riflemen, which formed the left angle of the 
rear line. The fire from the Indians was exceedingly severe, and 


men in these companies suffered considerably before relief could be 
brought to them. Some few Indians passed into the encampment 
near the angle, and one or two penetrated to some distance before 
they were killed. All the companies formed for action before they 
were fired on. The morning was dark and cloudy, and the fires of 
the Americans afforded only -a partial light, which gave greater 
advantage to the enemy than to the troops, and they were there- 
fore extinguished. 

As soon as the Governor could mount his horse he rode to the 
angle which was attacked, where he found that Barton's company had 
suffered severely, and the left of Geiger's entirely broken. He 
immediately ordered Cook's and Wentworth's companies to march 
up to the center of the rear line, where were stationed a small com- 
pany of U. S. riflemen and the companies of Bean, Snelling and 
Prescott. As the General rode up he found Maj. Daviess forming 
the dragoons in the rear of these companies, and having ascertained 
that the heaviest fire proceeded from some trees 15 or 20 paces in 
front of these companies, he directed the Major to dislodge them 
with a part of the dragoons; but unfortunately the 'Major's gal- 
lantry caused him to undertake the execution of the order with a 
smaller force than was required, which enabled the enemy to avoid 
him in front and attack his flanks. He was mortally wounded and 
his men driven back. Capt. Snelling, however, with his company 
immediately dislodged those Indians. Capt. Spencer and his 1st 
and 2nd Lieutenants were killed, and Capt. Warwick mortally 
wounded. The soldiery remained brave. Spencer had too much 
ground originally, and Harrison re-enforced him with a company 
of riflemen which had been driven from their position on the left 

Gen. Harrison's aim was to keep the lines entire, to prevent the 
enemy from breaking into the camp until daylight, which would 
enable him to make a general and effectual charge. With this view 
he had re-enforced every part of the line that had suffered much, 
and with the approach of morning he withdrew several companies 
from the front and rear lines and re-enforced the right and left 
flanks, foreseeing that at these points the enemy would make their 
last effort. Maj. Wells, who had commanded the left flank, charged 
upon the enemy and drove them at the point of the bayonet into 
the marsh, where they could not be followed. Meanwhile Capt. 
Cook and Lieut. Larrabee marched their companies to the right 
flank and formed under fire of the enemy, and being there joined 


by tlie riflemen of that flank, charged upon the enemy, killing a 
number and putting the rest to a precipitate flight. 

Thus ended the famous battle of Tippecanoe, victoriously to the 
whites and honorably to Gen. Harrison. 

In this battle Mr. Harrison had about 700 efficient men, while 
the Indians had probably more than that. The loss of the Ameri- 
cans was 37 killed and 25 mortally wounded, and 126 wounded; the 
Indians lost 38 killed on the field of battle, and the number of the 
wounded was never known. Among the whites killed were Daviess, 
Spencer, Owen, Warwick, Randolph, Bean and White. Standing on 
an eminence near by, the Prophet encouraged his warriors to battle 
by singing a favorite war-song. He told them that they would gain 
an easy victory, and that the bullets of their enemies would be made 
harmless by the Great Spirit. Being informed duringthe engagement 
that some of the Indians were killed, he said that his warriors must 
fight on and they would soon be victorious. Immediately after 
their defeat the surviving Indians lost faith in their great (?) Proph- 
et, returned to their respective tribes, and thus the confederacy 
was destroyed. The Prophet, with a very few followers, then took 
up his residence among a small band of Wyandots encamped on 
Wild-Cat creek. His famous town, with all its possessions, was 
destroyed the next day, Nov. 8. 

On the 18th the American army returned to Vincennes, where 
most of the troops were discharged. The Territorial Legislature, 
being in session, adopted resolutions complimentary to Gov. Harri- 
son and the officers and men under him, and made preparations for 
a reception and celebration. 

Capt. Logan, the eloquent Shawanee chief who assisted our 
forces so materially, died in the latter part of November, 1812, 
from the effects of a wound received in a skirmish with a recon- 
noitering party of hostile Indians accompanied by a white man in 
the British service, Nov. 22. In that skirmish the white man was 
killed, and Winamac, a Pottawatomie chief of some distinction, 
fell by the rifle of Logan. The latter was mortally wounded, when 
he retreated with two warriors of his tribe, Capt. Johnny and 
Bright-Horn, to the camp of Gen. Winchester, where he soon after- 
ward died. He was buried with the honors of war. 


The victory recently gained by the Americans at the battle of 
Tippecanoe insured perfect peace for a time, bat only a short time 
as the more extensive schemes of the British had so far ripened as 
to compel the United States again to declare war against them. 
Tecumseh had fled to Maiden, Canada, where, counseled by the 
English, he continued to excite the tribes against the Americans. 
As soon as this war with Great Britain was declared (June 18, 
1812), the Indians, as was expected, commenced again to commit 
depredations. During the summer of 1812 several points along 
the Lake Region succumbed to theBritish, as Detroit, under Gen. 
Hull, Fort Dearborn (now Chicago), commanded by Capt. Heald 
under Gen. Hull, the post at Mackinac, etc. 

In the early part of September, 1812, parties of hostile Indians 
began to assemble in considerable numbers in the vicinity of Forts 
Wayne and Harrison, with a view to reducing them. Capt. Rhea, 
at this time, had command of Fort Wayne, but his drinking pro- 
pensities rather disqualified him for emergencies. For two weeks 
the fort was in great jeopardy. An express had been sent to Gen. 
Harrison for reinforcements, but many days passed without any 
tidings of expected assistance. At length, one day, Maj. Wm. 
Oliver and four friendly Indians arrived at the fort on horseback. 
One of the Indians was the celebrated Logan. They had come in 
defiance ot "500 Indians," had "broken their ranks" and reached 
the fort in safety. Oliver reported that Harrison was aware of the 
situation and was raising men for a re-enforcement. Ohio was also 
raising volunteers; 800 were then assembled at St. Mary's, Ohio, 
60 miles south of Fort Wayne, and would march to the relief of 
the fort in three or four days, or as soon as they were joined by re- 
enforcements from Kentucky. 

Oliver prepared a letter, announcing to Gen. Harrison his safe ar- 
rival at the besieged fort, and giving an account of its beleaguered 
situation, which he dispatched by his friendly Shawanees, while he 
concluded to take his chances at the fort. Brave Logan and his 
companions started with the message, but had scarcely left the fort 
when they were discovered and pursued by the hostile Indians, yet 
passing the Indian lines in safety, they were soon out of reach. 
The Indians now began a furious attack upon the fort; but the little 
garrison, with Oliver to cheer them on, bravely met the assault, re- 
pelling the attack day after day, until the army approached to their 

relief. During this siege the commanding officer, whose habits of 



intemperance rendered him unfit for the command, was confined in 
the " black hole," while the junior officer assumed charge. This 
course was approved by the General, on his arrival, but Capt. Rhea 
received very little censure, probably on account of his valuable ser- 
vices in the Revolutionary war. 

Sept. 6, 1812, Harrison moved forward with his army to the re- 
lief of Fort "Wayne; the next day he reached a point within three 
miles of St. Mary's river; the next day he reached the river and 
Was joined at evening by 200 mounted volunteers, under Col. Rich- 
ard M. Johnson; the next day at "Shane's Crossing" on the St. 
Mary's they were joined by 800 men from Ohio, under Cols. Adams 
and Hawkins. At this place Chief Logan and four other Indians 
offered their services as spies to Gen. Harrison, and were accepted. 
Logan was immediately disguised and sent forward. Passing 
through the lines of the hostile Indians,he ascertained their number 
to be about 1,500, and entering the fort, he encouraged the soldiers 
to hold out, as relief was at hand. Gen. Harrison's force at this 
time was about 3,500. 

After an early breakfast Friday morning they were under march- 
ing orders; it had rained and the guns were damp; they were dis- 
charged and reloaded; but that day only one Indian was encount- 
ered ; preparations were made at night for an expected attack by 
the Indians, but no attack came; the next day, Sept. 10, they ex- 
pected to fight their way to Fort Wayne, but in that they were hap- 
pily disappointed; and "At the first grey of the morning," as Bryce 
eloquently observes, "the distant halloos of the disappointed sav- 
ages revealed to the anxious inmates of the fort the glorious news 
of the approach of the army. Great clouds of dust could be seen 
from the fort, rolling up in the distance, as the valiant soldiery 
under Gen. Harrison moved forward to the rescue of the garrison 
and the brave boys of Kentucky and Ohio." 

This siege of Fort Wayne of course occasioned great loss to the 
few settlers who had gathered around the fort. At the time of its 
commencement quite a little village had clustered around the mili- 
tary works, but during the siege most of their improvements and 
crops were destroyed by the savages. Every building out of the reach 
of the guns of the fort was leveled to the ground, and thus the in- 
fant settlement was destroyed. 

During this siege the garrison lost but three men, while the 
Indians lost 25. Gen. Harrison had all the Indian villages for 25 
miles around destroyed. Fort Wayne was nothing but a military 
post until about 1819. 


Simultaneously with the attack on Fort Wayne the Indians also 
besieged Fort Harrison, which was commanded by Zachary Taylor. 
The Indians commenced firing upon the fort about 11 o'clock one 
night, when the garrison was in a rather poor plight for receiving 
them. The enemy succeeded in firing one of the block-houses, 
which contained whisky, and the whites had great difficulty in pre- 
venting the burning of all the barracks. The word " fire " seemed 
to have thrown all the men into confusion; soldiers' and citizens' 
wives, who had taken shelter within the fort, were crying; Indians 
were yelling; many of the garrison were sick and unable to be on 
duty; the men despaired and gave themselves up as lost; two of 
the strongest and apparently most reliable men jumped the pickets 
in the very midst of the emergency, etc., so that Capt. Taylor was 
at his wit's end what to do ; but he gave directions as to the many 
details, rallied the men by a new scheme, and after about seven 
hours succeeded in saving themselves. The Indians drove up the 
horses belonging to the citizens, and as they could not catch th^m 
very readily, shot the whole of them in the sight of their owners, 
and also killed a number of the hogs belonging to the whites. 
They drove off all of the cattle, 65 in number, as well as the public 

Among many other depredations committed by the savages dar- 
ing this period, was the massacre of the Pigeon Roost settlement, 
consisting of one man, five women and 16 children; a few escaped. 
An unsuccessful effort was made to capture these Indians, but 
when the news of this massacre and the attack on Fort Harrison 
reached Vincennes, about 1,200 men, under the command of Col. 
Win. Russell, of the 7th U. S. Infantry, marched forth for the re- 
lief of the fort and to punish the Indians. On reaching the fort 
the Indians had retired from the vicinity; but on the 15th of Sep- 
tember a 6mall detachment composed of 11 men, under Lieut. Rich- 
ardson, and acting as escort of provisions sent from Vincennes to 
Fort Harrison, was attacked by a party of Indians within the pres- 
ent limits of Sullivan county. It was reported that seven of these 
men were killed and one wounded. The provisions of course fell 
into the hands of the Indians. 


By the middle of August, through the disgraceful surrender of 
Gen. Hull, at Detroit, and the evacuation of Fort Dearborn and 
massacre of its garrison, the British and Indians were in possession 
of the whole Northwest. The savages, emboldened by their sue- 


cesses, penetrated deeper into the settlements, committing great 
depredations. The activity and success of the enemy aroused the 
people to a realization of the great danger their homes and families 
were in. Gov. Edwards collected a force of 350 men at Camp 
Russell, and Capt. Russell came from Vincennes with about 50 more. 
Being officered and equipped, they proceeded about the middle of 
October on horseback, carrying with them 20 day's rations, to 
Peoria. Capt. Craig was sent with two boats up the Illinois, with 
provisions and tools to build a fort. The little army proceeded to 
Peoria Lake, where was located a Pottawatomie village. They 
arrived late at night, within a few miles of the village, without 
their presence being known to the Indians. Four men were sent 
out that night to reconnoiter the position of the village. The four 
brave men who volunteered for this perilous service were Thomas 
Carlin (afterward Governor), and Robert, Stephen and Davis White- 
side. They proceeded to the village, and explored it and the ap- 
proaches to it thoroughly, without starting an Indian or provoking 
the bark of a dog. The low lands between the Indian village and 
the troops were covered with a rank growth of tall grass, so high 
and dense as to readily conceal an Indian on horseback, until within 
a few feet of him. The ground had become still more yielding by 
recent rains, rendering it almost impassable by mounted men. To 
prevent detection the soldiers had camped without lighting the 
usual camp-fires. The men lay down in their cold and cheerless 
camp, with many misgivings. They well remembered how the 
skulking savages fell upon Harrison's men at Tippecanoe during 
the night. To add to their fears, a gun in the hands of a soldier 
was carelessly discharged, raising great consternation in the camp. 
Through a dense fog which prevailed the following morning, the 
army took up its line of march for the Indian town, Capt. Judy 
with his corps of spies in advance. In the tall grass they came up 
with an Indian and his squaw, both mounted. The Indian wanted 
to surrender, but Judy observed that he " did not leave home to take 
prisoners," and instantly shot one of them. With the blood 
streaming from his mouth and nose, and in his agony " singing the 
death song," the dying Indian raised his gun, shot and mortally 
wounded a Mr. Wright, and in a few minutes expired! Many guns 
were immediately discharged at the other Indian, not then known 
to be a squaw, all of which missed her. Badly scared, and her hus- 
band killed by her side, the agonizing wails of the squaw were 
heart-rending. She was taken prisoner, and afterward restored 
to her nation. 


On nearing the town a general charge was made, the Indians 
fleeing to the interior wilderness. Some of their warriors made a 
stand, when a sharp engagement occurred, but the Indians were 
routed. In their flight they left behind all their winter's store of 
provisions, which was taken, and their town burned. Some Indian 
children were found who had been left in the hurried flight, also 
some disabled adults, one of whom was in a starving condition, and 
with a voracious appetite partook of the bread given him. He is 
said to have been killed by a cowardly trooper straggling behind, 
after the main army had resumed its retrograde march, who wanted 
to be able to boast that he had killed an Indian. 

September 19, 1812, Gen. Harrison was put in command of the 
Northwestern army, then estimated at 10,000 men, with these 
orders: "Having provided for the protection of the western front- 
ier, you will retake Detroit; and, with a view to the conquest of 
upper Canada, you will penetrate that country as far as the force 
under your command will in your judgment justify." 

Although surrounded by many difficulties, the General began 
immediately to execute these instructions. In calling for volun- 
teers from Kentucky, however, more men offered than could be 
received. At this time there were about 2,000 mounted volunteers 
at Vincennes, under the command of Gen. Samuel Hopkins, of the 
Revolutionary war, who was under instructions to operate against 
the enemy along the Wabash and Illinois rivers. Accordingly, 
early in October, Gen. Hopkins moved from Vincennes towards the 
Kickapoo villages in the Illinois territory, with about 2,000 troops; 
but after four or five days' march the men and officers raised a 
mutiny which gradually succeeded in carrying all back to Vin- 
cennes. The cause of their discontent is not apparent. 

About the same time Col. Russell, with two small companies of 
U. S. rangers, commanded by Capts. Perry aud Modrell, marched 
from the neighborhood of Vincennes to unite with a small force of 
mounted militia under the command of Gov. Edwards, of Illinois, 
and afterward to march with the united troops from Cahokia 
toward Lake Peoria, for the purpose of co-operating with Gen. 
Hopkins against the Indian towns in that vicinity; but not find- 
ing the latter on the ground, was compelled to retire. 

Immediately after the discharge of the mutinous volunteers, 
Gen. Hopkins began to organize another force, mainly of infantry, 
to reduce the Indians up the Wabash as far as the Prophet's town. 
These troops consisted of three regiments of Kentucky militia, 


commanded by Cols. Barbour, Miller and Wilcox; a small company 
of regulars commanded by Capt. Zachary Taylor; a company of 
rangers commanded by Capt. Beckes ; and a company of scouts or 
spies under the command of Capt. Washburn. The main body of 
this army arrived at Fort Harrison Nov. 5; on the 11th it pro- 
ceeded up the east side of the Wabash into the heart of the Indian 
country, but found the villages generally deserted. Winter set- 
ting in severely, and the troops poorly clad, they had to return to 
Yincennes as rapidly as possible. With one exception the men 
behaved nobly, and did much damage to the enemy. That 
exception was the precipitate chase after an Indian by a detach- 
ment of men somewhat in liquor, until they found themselves sur- 
rounded by an overwhelming force of the enemy, and they had to 
retreat in disorder. 

At the close of this campaign Gen. Hopkins resigned his 

In the fall of 1812 Gen. Harrison assigned to Lieut. Col. John 
B. Campbell, of the 19th U. S. Inf., the duty of destroying the 
Miami villages on the Mississinewa river, with a detachment of 
about 600 men. Nov. 25, Lieut. Col. Campbell marched from 
Franklinton, according to orders, toward the scene of action, cau- 
tiously avoiding falling in with the Delawares, who had been ordered 
by Gen. Harrison to retire to the Shawanee establishment on the 
Auglaize river, and arriving on the Mississinewa Dec. 17, when 
they discovered an Indian town inhabited by Delawares and 
Miamis This .and three other villages were destroyed. Soon 
after this, the supplies growing short and the troops in a suffering 
condition, Campbell began' to consider the propriety of returning 
to Ohio; but just as he was calling together his officers early one 
morning to deliberate on the proposition, an army of Indians 
rushed upon them with fury. The engagement lasted an hour, 
with a loss of eight killed and 42 wounded, besides about 150 horses 
killed. The whites, however, succeeded in defending themselves 
and taking a number of Indians prisoners, who proved to be Mun- 
sies, of Silver Heel's band. Campbell, hearing that a large force 
of Indians were assembled at Mississinewa village, under Tecum- 
8eh, determined to return to Greenville. The privations of his 
troops and the severity of the cold compelled him to send to that 
place for re-enforcements and supplies. Seventeen of the men had 
to be carried on litters. They were met by the re-enforcement 
about 40 miles from Greenville. 


Lieut. Col. Campbell sent two messages to the Delawares, who 
lived on White river and who had been previously directed and 
requested to abandon their towns on that river and remove into 
Ohio. In these messages he expressed his regret at unfortunately 
killing some of their men, and urged them to move to the Shaw- 
anee settlement on the Auglaize river. He assured them that their 
people, in his power, would be compensated by the Government 
for their losses, if not found to be hostile ; and the friends of those 
killed satisfied by presents, if such satisfaction would be received. 
This advice was heeded by the main body of the Delawares and a 
few Miamis.' The Shawanee Prophet, and some of the principal 
chiefs of the Miamis, retired from the country of the "Wabash, and, 
with their destitute and suffering bands, moved to Detroit, where 
they were received as the friends and allies of Great Britain. 

On the approach of Gen. Harrison with his army in September, 
1813, the British evacuated Detroit, and the Ottawas, Chippewas, 
Pottawatomies, Miamis and Kickapoos sued for peace with the 
United States, which was granted temporarily by Brig. Gen. Mc- 
Arthur, on condition of their becoming allies of the United States 
in case of war. 

In June, 1813, an expedition composed of 137 men, under com- 
mand of Col. Joseph Bartholomew, moved from Yalonia toward 
the Delaware towns on the west fork of White river, to surprise 
and punish some hostile Indians who were supposed to be lurking 
about those villages. Most of these places they found deserted; 
some of them burnt. They had been but temporarily occupied for 
the purpose of collecting and carrying away corn. Col. Bartholo- 
mew's forces succeeded in killing one or two Indians and destroy- 
ing considerable corn, and they returned to Yalonia on the 21st of 
this month. 

July 1, 1813, Col. William Russell, of the 7th U. S., organized 
a force of 573 effective men at Yalonia and marched to the Indian 
villages about the mouth of the Mississinewa. His experience was 
much like that of Col. Bartholomew, who had just preceded him. 
He had rainy weather, suffered many losses, found the villages de- 
serted, destroyed stores of corn, etc. The Colonel reported that he 
went to every place where he expected to find the enemy, but they 
nearly always seemed to have fled the country. The march from 
Yalonia to the mouth of the Mississinewa and return was about 
250 miles. 

Several smaller expeditions helped to "checker" the surrounding 


country, and find that the Indians were very careful to keep them- 
selves out of sight, and thus closed this series of campaigns. 


The war with England closed on the 24th of December, 1814, 
when a treaty of peace was signed at Ghent. The 9th article of 
the treaty required the United States to put an end to hostilities 
with all tribes or nations of Indians with whom they had been at 
war; to restore to such tribes or nations respectively all the rights 
and possessions to which they were entitled in 1811, before the 
war, on condition that such Indians should agree to desist from all 
hostilities against the United States. But in February, just before 
the treaty was sanctioned by our Government, there were signs of 
Indians accumulating arms and ammunition, and a cautionary 
order was therefore issued to have all the white forces in readiness 
for an attack by the Indians; but the attack was not made. During 
the ensuing summer and fall the United States Government ac- 
quainted the Indians with the provisions of the treaty, and entered 
into subordinate treaties of peace with the principal tribes. 

Just before the treaty of Spring Wells (near Detroit) was signed, 
the Shawanee Prophet retired to Canada, but declaring his resolu- 
tion to abide by any treaty which the chiefs might sign. Some 
time afterward he returned to the Shawanee settlement in Ohio, and 
lastly to the west of the Mississippi, where he died, in 1S34. The 
British Government allowed him a pension from 1S13 until his 
death. His brother Tecumseh was killed at the battle of the 
Thames, Oct. 5, 1813, by a Mr. Wheatty, as we are positively in- 
formed by Mr. A. J. James, now a resident of La Harpe township, 
Hancock county, III., whose father-in-law, John Pigman, of Co- 
shocton county, Ohio, was an eye witness. Gen. Johnson has gener- 
ally had the credit of killing Tecumseh. 



If one should inquire who has been the greatest Indian, the most 
noted, the " principal Indian " in North America since its discov- 
ery by Columbus, we would be obliged to answer, Tecumseh. For 
all those qualities which elevate a man far above his race; for talent, 
tact, skill and bravery as a warrior; for high-minded, honorable and 
chivalrous bearing as a man; in a word, for all those elements of 
greatness which place him a long way above his fellows in savage 
life, the name and fame of Tecumseh will go down to posterity in 
the West as one of the most celebrated of the aborigines of this 
continent, — as one who had no equal among the tribes that dwelt 
in the country drained by the Mississippi. Born to command him- 
self, he used all the appliances that would stimulate the courage 
and nerve the valor of his followers. Always in the front rank of 
battle, his followers blindly followed his lead, and as his war-cry 
rang clear above the din and noise of the battle-field, the Shawnee 
warriors, as they rushed on to victory or the grave, rallied around 
him, foemen worthy of the steel of the most gallant commander 
that ever entered the lists in defense of his altar or his home. 

The tribe to which Tecumseh, or Tecumtha, as some write it, be- 
longed, was the Shawnee, or Shawanee. The tradition of the nation 
held that they originally came from the Gulf of Mexico; that they 
wended their way up the Mississippi and the Ohio, and settled at 
or near the present site of Shawneetown, 111., whence they removed 
to the upper Wabash. In the latter place, at any rate, they were 
found early in the 18th century, and were known as the "bravest 
of the brave." This tribe has uniformly been the bitter enemy of 
the white man, and in every contest with our people has exhibited 
a degree of skill and strategy that should characterize the most 
dangerous foe. 

Tecumseh's notoriety and that of his brother, the Prophet, mutu- 
ally served to establish and strengthen each other. While the 
Prophet had unlimited power, spiritual and temporal, he distributed 
his greatness in all the departments of Indian life with a kind of 
fanaticism that magnetically aroused the religious and superstitious 
passions, not only of his own followers, but also of all the tribes in 



this part of the country; but Tecuraseh concentrated his greatness 
upon the more practical and business affairs of military conquest. 
It is doubted whether he was really a sincere believer in the preten- 
sions of his fanatic brother; if he did not believe in the pretentious 
feature of them he had the shrewdness to keep his unbelief to him- 
self, knowing that religious fanaticism was one of the strongest im- 
pulses to reckless bravery. 

During his sojourn in the Northwestern Territory, it was Tecum- 
seh's uppermost desire of life to confederate all the Indian tribes of 
the country together against the whites, to maintain their choice 
hunting-grounds. All his public policy converged toward this sin- 
gle end. In his vast scheme he comprised even all the Indians in 
the Gulf country, — all in America west of the Alleghany moun- 
tains. He held, as a subordinate principle, that the Great Spirit 
had given the Indian race all these hunting-grounds to keep in 
common, and that no Indian or tribe could cede any portion of the 
land to the whites without the consent of all the tribes. Hence, in 
all his councils with the whites he ever maintained that the treaties 
were null and void. 

When he met Harrison at Yincennes in council the last time, 
and, as he was invited by that General to take a seat with him on 
the platform, he hesitated; Harrison insisted, saying that it was the 
"wish of their Great Father, the President of the United States, 
that he should do so." The chief paused a moment, raised his tall 
and commanding form to its greatest height, surveyed the troops 
and crowd around him, fixed his keen eyes upon Gov. Harrison, 
and then turning them to the sky above, and pointing toward 
heaven with his sinewy arm in a manner indicative of supreme 
contempt for the paternity assigned him, said in clarion tones: " My 
father? The sun is my father, the earth is my mother, and on her 
bosom I will recline." He then stretched himself, with his war- 
riors, on the green sward. The effect was electrical, and for some 
moments there was perfect silence. 

The Governor, then, through an interpreter, told him that he un- 
derstood he had some complaints to make and redress to ask, etc., 
and that he wished to investigate the matter and make restitution 
wherever it might be decided it should be done. As soon as the 
Governor was through with this introductory speech, the stately 
warrior arose, tall, athletic, manly, dignified and graceful, and with 
a voice at first low, but distinct and musical, commenced a reply. 
As he warmed up with his subject his clear tones might be heard, 


as if " trumpet-tongued," to the utmost limits of the assembly. 
The most perfect silence prevailed, except when his warriors gave 
their guttural assent to some eloquent recital of the red man's 
wrong and the white man's injustice. Tecumseh recited the wrongs 
which his race had suffered from che time of the massacre of the 
Moravian Indians to the present; said he did not know how he 
could ever again be the friend of the white man; that the Great 
Spirit had given to the Indian all the land from the Miami to the 
Mississippi, and from the lakes to the Ohio, as a common property 
to all the tribes in these border*, and that the land could not and 
should not be sold without the consent of all; that all the tribes on 
the continent formed but one nation; that if the United States 
would not give up the iands they had bought of the Miamis and 
the other tribes, those united with him were determined to annihi- 
late those tribes; that they were determined to have no more chiefs, 
but in future to be governed by their warriors; that unless the 
whites ceased their encroachments upon Indian lands, the fate of 
the Indians was sealed; they had been driven from the banks of 
the Delaware across the Alleghanies, and their possessions on the 
Wabash and the Illinois were now to be taken from them; that in 
a few years they would not have ground enough to bury their war- 
riors on this side of the "Father of Waters;" that all would perish, 
all their possessions taken from them by fraud or force, unless they 
stopped the progress of the white man westward; that it must be 
a war of races in which one or the other must perish; that their 
tribes had been driven toward the setting sun like a galloping 
horse (ne-kat a-kush-e ka-top-o-lin-to). 

The Shawnee language, in which this most eminent Indian states- 
man spoke, excelled all other aboriginal tongues in its musical ar- 
ticulation; and the effect of Tecumseh's oratory on this occasion 
can be more easily imagined than described. Gov. Harrison, 
although as brave a soldier and General as any American, was over- 
come by this speech. He well knew Tecumseh's power and influ- 
ence among all the tribes, knew his bravery, courage and determi- 
nation, and knew that he meant what he said. When Tecumseh 
was done speaking there was a stillness throughout the assembly 
which was really painful ; not a whisper was heard, and all eyes were 
turned from the speaker toward Gov. Harrison, who after a few 
moments came to himself, and recollecting many of the absurd 
statements of the great Indian orator, began a reply which was 
more logical, if not so eloquent. The Shawnees were attentive m> 


til Harrison's interpreter began to translate his speech to the Mia- 
mis and Pottawatomies, when Tecumseh and his warriors sprang 
to their feet, brandishing their war-clubs and tomahawks. "Tell 
him," said Tecumseh, addressing the interpreter in Shawnee, " he 
lies." The interpreter undertook to convey this message to the 
Governor in smoother language, but Tecumseh noticed the effort 
and remonstrated, " No, no; tell him he lies." The warriors began 
to grow more excited, when Secretary Gibson ordered the Ameri- 
can troops in arms to advance. This allayed the rising storm, and 
as soon as Tecumseh's " He lies " was literally interpreted to the 
Governor, the latter told Tecumseh through the interpreter to tell 
Tecumseh he would hold no further council with him. 

Thus the assembly was broken up, and one can hardly imagine a 
more exciting scene. It would constitute the finest subject for a 
historical painting to adorn the rotunda of the capitol. The next 
day Tecumseh requested another interview with the Governor, 
■which was granted on condition that he should make an apology to 
the Governor for his language the day before. This he made 
through the interpreter. Measures for defense and protection were 
taken, however, lest there should be another outbreak. Two com- 
panies of militia were ordered from the country, and the one in 
•town added to them, while the Governor and his friends went into 
council fully armed and prepared for any contingency. On this oc- 
casion the conduct of Tecumseh was entirely different from that of 
the day before. Firm and intrepid, showing not the slightest fear 
or alarm, surrounded with a military force four times his own, he 
preserved the utmost composure and equanimity. No one would 
have supposed that he could have been the principal actor in the 
thrilling scene of the previous day. He claimed that half the 
Americans were in sympathy with him. He also said that whites 
had informed him that Gov. Harrison had purchased land from the 
Indians without any authority from the Government; that he, 
Harrison, had but two years more to remain in office, and that if 
he, Tecumseh, could prevail upon the Indians who sold the lands 
not to receive their annuities for that time, and the present Gover- 
nor displaced by a good man as his successor, the latter would re- 
store to the Indians all the lands purchased from them. 

The Wyandots, Kickapoos, Pottawatomies, Otta was and the Win- 
nebagoes, through their respective spokesmen, declared their 
adherence to the great Shawnee warrior and statesman. Gov. Harri- 
son then told them that he would send Tecumseh's speech to thePres* 


dent of the United States and return the answer to the Indians as soon 
as it was received. Tecumseh then declared that he and his allies were 
determined that the old boundary line should continue; and that 
if the whites crossed it, it would be at their peril . Gov. Harrison re- 
plied that he would be equally plain with him and state that the 
President would never allow that the lands on the Wabash were the 
property of any other tribes than those who had occupied them 
since the white people first came to America; and as the title to 
the lands lately purchased was derived from those tribes by a fair 
purchase, he might rest assured that the right of the United States 
would be supported by the sword. " So be it," was the stern and 
haughty reply of the Shawnee chieftan, as he and his braves took 
leave of the Governor and wended their way in Indian file to their 
camping ground. 

Thus ended the last conference on earth between the chivalrous 
Tecumseh and the hero of the battle of Tippecanoe. The bones of 
the first lie bleaching on the battle-field of the Thames, and those 
of the last in a mausoleum on the banks of the Ohio; each strug- 
gled for the mastery of his race, ap^ each no doubt was equally 
honest and patriotic in his purposes. The weak yielded to the 
strong, the defenseless to the powerful, and the hunting-ground of 
the Shawnee is all occupied by his enemy. 

Tecumseh, with four of his braves, immediately embarked in a 
birch canoe, descended the Wabash, and went on to the South to 
unite the tribes of that country in a general system of self-defense 
against the encroachment of the whites. His emblem was a dis- 
jointed snake, with the motto, "Join or die!" In union alone was 

Before Tecumseh left the Prophet's town at the mouth of the 
Tippecanoe river, on his excursion to the South, he had a definite 
understanding with his brother and the chieftains of the other tribes 
in the Wabash country, that they should preserve perfect peace 
with the whites until his arrangements were completed for a con- 
federacy of the tribes on both sides of the Ohio and on the Missis- 
sippi river; but it seems that while he was in the South engaged 
in his work of uniting the tribes of that country some of the North- 
ern tribes showed signs of fight and precipitated Harrison into that 
campaign which ended in the battle of Tippecanoe and the total 
route of the Indians. Tecumseh, on his return from the South, 
learning what had happened, was overcome with chagrin, disappoint- 
ment and anger, and accused his brother of duplicity and coward- 


ice; indeed, it is said that he never forgave him to the day of his 
death. A short time afterward, on the breaking out of the war of 
Great Britain, he joined Proctor, at Maiden, with a party of his 
warriors, and finally suffered the fate mentioned on page 108. 


Owing to the absence of Gov. Harrison on military duty, John 
Gibson, the Secretary of the Territory, acted in the administration 
of civil affairs. In his message to the Legislature convening on the 
1st of February, 1813, he said, substantially: 

" Did I possess the abilities of Cicero or Demosthenes, I could 
not portray in more glowing colors our foreign and domestic politi- 
cal situation than it is already experienced within our own breasts. 
The United States have been compelled, by frequent acts of injus- 
tice, to declare war against England. For a detail of the causes of 
this war I would refer to the message of President Madison; it 
does honor to his head and heart. Although not an admirer of 
war, I am glad to see our little but inimitable navy riding triumph- 
ant on the seas, but chagrined to find that our armies by land are 
so little successful. The spirit of '76 appears to have fled from our 
continent, or, if not fled, is at least asleep, for it appears not to 
pervade our armies generally. At your last assemblage our politi- 
cal horizon seemed clear, and our infant Territory bid fair for rapid 
and rising grandeur; but, alas, the scene has changed; and whether 
this change, as respects our Territory, has been owing to an over 
anxiety in us to extend our dominions, or to a wish for retaliation 
by our foes, or to a foreign influence, I shall not say. The Indians, 
our former neighbors and friends, have become our most inveterate 
foes. Our former frontiers are now our wilds, and our inner settle- 
ments have become frontiers. Some of our best citizens, and old 
men worn down with age, and helpless women and innocent 
babes, have fallen victims to savage cruelty. I have done my duty 
as well as I can, and hope that the interposition of Providence will 
protect us." 

The many complaints made about the Territorial Government 
Mr. Gibson said, were caused more by default of officers than of the 
law. Said he: "It is an old and, I believe, correct adage, that 
' good officers make good soldiers.' This evil having taken root, I do 
not know how it can be eradicated; but it may be remedied. In 
place of men searching after and accepting commissions before they 


are even tolerably qualified, thereby subjecting themselves to ridi- 
cule and their country to ruin, barely for the name of the thing, I 
think may be remedied by a previous examination." 

During this session of the Legislature the seat of the Territorial 
Government was declared to be at Corydon, and immediately acting 
Governor Gibson prorogued the Legislature to meet at that place, 
the first Monday of December, 1813. During this year the Terri- 
tory was almost defenseless; Indian outrages were of common 
occurrence, but no general outbreak was made. The militia-men 
were armed with rifles and long knives, and many of the rangers 
carried tomahawks. 

In 1813 Thomas Posey, who was at that time a Senator in Con- 
gress from Tennessee, and who had been officer of the army of the 
Revolution, was appointed Governor of Indiana Territory, to suc- 
ceed Gen. Harrison. He arrived in Yincennes and entered upon 
the discharge of his duties May 25, 1813. During this year several 
expeditions against the Indian settlements were set on foot. 

In his first message to the Legislature the following December, 
at Corydon, Gov. Posey said: "The present crisis is awful, and big 
with great events. Our land and nation is involved in the common 
calamity of war; but we are under the protecting care of the benefi- 
cent Being,who has on a former occasion brought us safely through 
an arduous struggle and placed us on a foundation of independence, 
freedom and happiness. He will not suffer to be taken from us 
what He, in His great wisdom has thought proper to confer and 
bless us with, if we make a wise and virtuous use of His good 
gifts. * * * Although our affairs, at the commencement of 
the war, wore a gloomy aspect, they have brightened, and promise 
a certainty of success, if properly directed and conducted, of which 
I have no doubt, as the President and heads of departments of the 
general Government are men of undoubted patriotism, talents and 
experience, and who have grown old in the service of their country. 
* * * It must be obvious to every thinking man that we were 
forced into the war. Every measure consistent with honor, both 
before and since the declaration of war, has tried to be on amicable 
terms with our enemy, * * * You who reside in various parts 
of the Territory have it in your power to understand what will tend 
to its local and general advantage. The judiciary system would 
require a revisal and amendment. The militia law is very defective 
and requires your immediate attention. It is necessary to have 


good roads and highways in as many directions through the Terri- 
tory as the circumstances and situation of the inhabitants will 
admit; it would contribute very much to promote the settlement 
and improvement of the Territory. Attention to education is highly 
necessary. There is an appropriation made by Congress, in lands, 
for the purpose of.establishing public schools. It comes now with- 
in your province to carry into operation the design of the appro- 

This Legislature passed several very necessary laws for the wel- 
fare of the settlements, and the following year, as Gen. Harrison 
was generally successful -in his military campaigns in the North- 
west, the settlements in Indiana began to increase and improve. 
The fear of danger from Indians had in a great measure subsided, 
and the tide of immigration began again to flow. In January, 
1814, about a thousand Miamis assembled at Fort Wayne for the 
purpose of obtaining food to prevent starvation. They met with 
ample hospitality, and their example was speedily followed by 
others. These, with other acts of kindness, won the lasting friend- 
ship of the Indians, many of whom had fought in the interests of 
Great Britain. General treaties between the United States and the 
Northwestern tribes were subsequently concluded, and the way 
was fully opened for the improvement and settlement of the lands, 

population in 1815. 

The population of the Territory of Indiana, as given in the 
official returns to. the Legislature of 1815, was as follows, by 

COUNTIES. White males of 21 and over. TOTAL. 

Wayne 1,225 6,407 

Franklin 1,430 7,370 

Dearborn 902 4,424 

Switzerland 377 1,832 

Jefferson--- 874 4,270 

Clark 1,387 7,150 

Washington 1,420 7,317 

Harrison 1,056 6,975 

Knox ... 1,391 o. 8,068 

Gibson 1,100 5,330 

Posey 320 1 ,6 1 9 

Warrick. 280 1,415 

Perry 350 1,720 

Grand Totals 12,112 63,897 


The well-known ordinance of 1787 conferred many " rights and 
privileges " upon the inhabitants of the Northwestern Territory, and 


consequently npon the people of Indiana Territory, but after all it 
came far short of conferring as many privileges as are enjoyed at 
the present day by our Territories. They did not have a full form 
of Republican government. A freehold estate in 500 acres of land 
was one of the necessary qualifications of each member of the legis- 
lative conncil of the Terri tor}' ; every member of the Territorial House 
of Representatives was required to hold, in his own right, 200 acres 
of land ; and the privilege of voting for members of the House 
of Representatives was restricted to those inhabitants who, in addi- 
tion to other qualifications, owned severally at least 50 acres of 
land. The Governor of the the Territory was invested with the 
power of appointing officers of the Territorial militia, Judges of the 
inferior Courts, Clerks of the Courts, Justices of the Peace, Sheriffs, 
Coroners, County Treasurers and County Surveyors. He was also 
authorized to divide the Territory into districts; to apportion 
among the several counties the members of the House of Represent- 
atives; to prevent the passage of any Territorial law; and to con- 
vene and dissolve the General Assembly whenever he thought best. 
None of the Governors, however, ever exercised these extraordinary 
powers arbitrarily. Nevertheless, the people were constantly agi- 
tating the question of extending the right of suffrage. Five years 
after the organization of the Territory, the Legislative Council, in 
reply to the Governor's Message, said: "Although we are not as 
completely independent in our legislative capacity as we would 
wish to be, yet we are sensible that we must wait with patience for 
that period of time when our population will burst the trammels 
of a Territorial government, and we shall assume the character more 
consonant to Republicanism. * * * The confidence which our 
fellow citizens have uniformly had in your administration has been 
such that they have hitherto had no reason to be jealous of the un- 
limited power which you possess over our legislative proceedings. 
"We, however, cannot help regretting that such powers have 
been lodged in the hands of any one, especially when it is recol- 
lected to what dangerous lengths the exercise of those powers may 
be extended." 

After repeated petitions the people of Indiana were empowered 
by Congress to elect the members of the Legislative Council by popu- 
lar vote. This act was passed in 1809, and defined what was known 
as the property qualification of voters. These qualifications were 
abolished by Congress in 1811, which extended the right of voting 
for members of the General Assembly and for a Territorial delegate 


to Congress to every free white male person who had attained the 
age of twenty-one years, and who, having paid a county or Terri- 
torial tax, was a resident of the Territory and had resided in it for 
a year. In 1814 the voting qualification in Indiana was defined by 
Congress, " to every free white male person having a freehold in 
the Territory, and being a resident of the same." The House of 
Representatives was authorized by Congress to lay off the Territory 
into five districts, in each of which the qualified voters were em- 
powered to elect a member of the Legislative Council. The division 
was made, one to two counties in each district. 

At the session in August, 1814, the Territory was also divided 
into three judicial circuits, and provisions were made for holding 
courts in the same. The Governor was empowered to appoint a 
presiding Judge in each circuit, and two Associate Judges of the 
circuit court in each county. Their compensation was fixed at 
$700 per annum. 

The same year the General Assembly granted charters to two 
banking institutions, the Farmers' and Mechanics' Bank of Madi- 
son and the Bank of Vincennes. The first was authorized to raise 
a capital of $750,000, and the other $500,000. On the organization 
of the State these banks were merged into the State Bank and its 

Here we close the history of the Territory of Indiana. 


The last regular session of the Territorial Legislature was held at 
Corydon, convening in December, 1815. The message of Governor 
Posey congratulated the people of the Territory upon the general 
success of the settlements and the great increase of immigration, 
recommended light taxes and a careful attention to the promotion 
of education and the improvement of the State roads and highways. 
He also recommended a revision of the territorial laws and an 
amendment of the militia system. Several laws were passed pre- 
paratory to a State Government, and December 14, 1815, a me- 
morial to Congress was adopted praying for the authority to adopt 
a constitution and State Government. Mr. Jennings,the Territorial 
delegate, laid this memorial before Congress on the 28th, and April 
19, 1816, the President approved the bill creating the State of In- 
diana. Accordingly, May 30 following, a general election was held 
for a constitutional convention, which met at Corydon June 10 to 
29, Johathan Jennings presiding and Win. Hendricks acting as 

"The convention that formed the first constitution of the State 
of Indiana was composed mainly of clear-minded, unpretending 
men of common sense, whose patriotism was unquestionable and 
whose morals were fair. Their familiarity with the theories of the 
Declaration of American Independence, their Territorial experience 
under the provisions of the ordinance of 17S7, and their knowledge of 
the principles of the constitution of the United States were sufficient, 
when combined, to lighten materially their labors in the great work 
of forming a constitution for a new State. With such landmarks 
in view, the labors of similar conventions in other States and Ter- 
ritories have been rendered comparatively light. In the clearness 
and conciseness of its style, in the comprehensive and just pro- 
visions which it made for the maintainance of civil and religious 
liberty, in its mandates, which were designed to protect the rights 
of the people collectively and individually, and to provide for the 
public welfare, the constitution that was formed for Indiana in 1816 
was not inferior to any of the State constitutions which were in ex- 
istence at that time." — Dillon'' s History of Indiana. 



The first State election took place on the first Monday of August, 
1816, and Jonathan Jennings was elected Governor, and Christo- 
pher Harrison, Lieut. Governor. Wm. Hendricks was elected to 
represent the new State in the House of Representatives of the 
United States. 

The first General Assembly elected under the new constitution 
began its session at Corydon, Nov. 4, 1816. John Paul was called 
to the chair of the Senate protem., and Isaac Blackford was elected 
Speaker of the House of Representatives. 

Among other things in the new Governor's message were the 
following remarks: "The result of your deliberation will be con- 
sidered as indicative of its future character as well as of the future 
happiness and prosperity of its citizens. In the commencement 
of the State government the shackles of the colonial should be for- 
gotten in our exertions to prove, by happy experience, that a uni- 
form adherence to the first principles of our Government and a 
virtuous exercise of its powers will best secure efficiency to its 
measures and stability to its character. Without a frequent recur- 
rence to those principles, the administration of the Government 
will imperceptibly become more and more arduous, until the sim- 
plicity of our Republican institutions may eventually be lost in 
dangerous expedients and political design. Under every free gov- 
ernment the happiness of the citizens must be identified with their 
morals; and while a constitutional exercise of their rights shall 
continue to have its due weight in discharge of the duties required 
of the constituted authorities of the State, too much attention can- 
not be bestowed to the encouragement and promotion of every 
moral virtue, and to the enactment of laws calculated to restrain 
the vicious, and prescribe punishment for every crime commensu- 
rate with its enormity. In measuring, however, to each crime its 
adequate punishment, it will be well to recollect that the certainty 
of punishment has generally the surest effect to prevent crime; 
while punishments unnecessarily severe too often produce the ac- 
quittal of the guilty and disappoint one of the greatest objects of 
legislation and good government * * * The dissemination of 
useful knowledge will be indispensably necessary as a support to 
morals and as a restraint to vice; and on this subject it will only 
be necessary to direct your attention to the plan of education as 
prescribed by the constitution. * * * I recommend to your 
consideration the propriety of providing by law, to prevent more 
effectually any unlawful attempts to seize and carry into bondage 



persons of color legally entitled to their freedom; and at the same 
time, as far as practicable, to prevent those who rightfully owe ser- 
vice to the citizens of any other State or Territory from seeking 
within the limits of this State a refuge from the possession of their 
lawful owners. Such a measure will tend to secure those who are 
free from any unlawful attempts (to enslave them) and secures the 
rights of the citizens of the other States and Territories as far as 
ought reasonably to be expected." 

This session of the Legislature elected James Noble and Waller 
Taylor to the Senate of the United States; Robert A. New was 
elected Secretary of State; "W. H. Lilley, Auditor of State; and 
Daniel C. Lane, Treasurer of State. The session adjourned Janu- 
ary 3, 1817. 

As the history of the State of Indiana from this time forward is 
best given by topics, we will proceed to give them in the chronolog- 
ical order of their origin. 

The happy close of the war with Great Britain in 1814 was fol- 
lowed by a great rush of immigrants to the great Territory of the 
Northwest, including the new States, all now recently cleared of 
the enemy; and by 1820 the State of Indiana had more than 
doubled her population, having at this time 147,178, and by 1825 
nearly doubled this again, that is to say, a round quarter of a mil- 
lion, — a growth more rapid probably than that of any other section 
in this country since the days of Columbus. 

The period 1 825-' 30 was a prosperous time for the young State. 
Immigration continued to be rapid, the crops were generally good 
and the hopes of the people raised higher than they had ever been 
before. Accompanying this immigration, however, were paupers 
and indolent people, who threatened to be so numerous as to 
become a serious burden. On this subject Governor Ray called for 
legislative action, but the Legislature scarcely knew what to do 
and they deferred action. 


In 1830 there still lingered within the bounds of the State two 
tribes of Indians, whose growing indolence, intemperate habits, 
dependence upon their neighbors for the bread of life, diminished 
prospects of living by the chase, continued perpetration of murders 
and other outrages of dangerous precedent, primitive igno- 
rance and unrestrained exhibitions of savage customs before the 
children of the settlers, combined to make them subjects for a more 
rigid government. The removal of the Indians west of the Missis- 
sippi was a melancholy but necessary duty. The time having 
arrived for the emigration of the Pottawatomies, according to the 
stipulations contained in their treaty with the United States, they 
evinced that reluctance common among aboriginal tribes on leav- 
ing the homes of their childhood and the graves of their ancestors. 
Love of country is a principle planted in the bosoms of all man- 
kind. The Laplander and the Esquimaux of the frozen north, 
who feed on seals, moose and the meat of the polar bear, would not 
exchange their country for the sunny clime of "Araby the blest." 
Color and shades of complexion have nothing to do with the 
heart's best, warmest emotions. Then we should not wonder that the 
Pottawatomie, on leaving his home on the Wabash, felt as sad as 
^Eschines did when ostracised from his native land, laved by the 
waters of the classic Scamander; and the noble and eloquent Nas- 
waw-kay, on leaving the encampment on Crooked creek, felt his 
banishment as keenly as Cicero when thrust from the bosom of his 
beloved Rome, for which he had spent the best efforts of his life, 
and for which he died. 

On Sunday morning, May 18, 1832, the people on the west side 
of the Wabash were thrown into a state of great consternation, on 
account of a report that a large body of hostile Indians had 
approached within 15 miles of Lafayette and killed two men. The 
alarm soon spread throughout Tippecanoe, Warren, Vermillion, 
Fountain, Montgomery, and adjoining counties. Several brave 
commandants of companies on the west side of the Wabash in 
Tippecanoe county, raised troops to go and meet the enemy, and 

dispatched an express to Gen. Walker with a request that he should 



make a call upon the militia of the county to equip themselves 
instantly and march to the aid of their bleeding countrymen. 
Thereupon Gen. Walker, Col. Davis, Lieut-Col. Jenners, Capt. 
Brown, of the artillery, and various other gallant spirits mounted 
their war steeds and proceeded to the army, and thence upon a 
scout to the Grand Prairie to discover, if possible, the number, 
intention and situation of the Indians. Over 300 old men, women 
and children nocked precipitately to Lafayette and the surrounding 
country east of the Wabash. A remarkable event occurred in this 
stampede, as follows: 

A man, wife and seven children resided on the edge of the 
Grand Prairie, west of Lafayette, in a locality considered particu- 
larly dangerous. On hearing of this alarm he made hurried 
preparations to fly with his family to Lafayette for safety. Imag- 
ine his surprise and chagrin when his wife told him she would not 
go one step; that she did not believe in being scared at trifles, and 
in her opinion there was not an Indian within 100 miles of them. 
Importunity proved unavailing, and the disconsolate and frightened 
husband and father took all the children except the youngest, bade 
his wife and babe a long and solemn farewell, never expecting to 
see them again, unless perhaps he might find their mangled re- 
mains, minus their scalps. On arriving at Lafayette, his acquaint- 
ances rallied and berated him for abandoning his wife and child in 
that way, but he met their jibes with a stoical indifference, avowing 
that he should not be held responsible for their obstinacy. 

As the shades of the first evening drew on, the wife felt lonely; 
and the chirping of the frogs and the notes of the whippoorwill only 
intensified her loneliness, until she half wished she had accom- 
panied the rest of the family in their flight. She remained in the 
house a .ew hours without striking a light, and then concluded 
that ' : discretion was the better part of valor," took her babe and 
some bed-clothes, fastened the cabin door, and hastened to a sink- 
hole in the woods, in which she afterward said that she and her 
babe slept soundly until sunrise next morning. 

Lafayette literally boiled over with people and patriotism. A 
meeting was held at the court-house, speeches were made by 
patriotic individuals, and to allay the fears of the women an armed 
police was immediately ordered, to be called the " Lafayette Guards." 
Thos. T. Benbridge was elected Captain, and John Cox, Lieutenant. 
Capt. Benbridge yielded the active drill of his guards to the 
Lieutenant, who had served two years in the war of 1812. After 


the meeting adjourned, the guards were paraded on the green 
where Purdue's block now stands, and put through sundry evolu- 
tions by Lieut. Cox, who proved to be an expert drill officer, and 
whose clear, shrill voice rung out on the night air as he inarched 
and counter-marched the troops from where the paper-mill stands 
to Main street ferry, and over the suburbs, generally. Every old 
gun and sword that could be found was brought into requisition, 
with a new shine on them. 

Gen. Walker, Colonels Davis and Jenners, and other officers 
joined in a call of the people of Tippecanoe county for volunteers to 
march to the frontier settlements. A large meeting of the citizens 
assembled in the public square in the town, and over 300 volunteers 
mostly mounted men, left for the scene of action, with an alacrity 
that would have done credit to veterans. 

The first night they camped nine miles west of Lafayette, near 
Grand Prairie. They placed sentinels for the night and retired to 
rest. A few of the subaltern officers very injudiciously concluded 
to try what effect a false alarm would have upon the sleeping sol- 
diers, and a few of them withdrew to a neighboring thicket, and 
thence made a charge upon the picket guards, who , after hailing 
them and receiving no countersign, fired off their guns and ran for 
the Colonel's marquee in the center of the encampment. The aroused 
Colonels and staff sprang to their feet, shouting "To arms! to arms!" 
and the obedient, though panic-stricken soldiers seized their guns 
and demanded to be led against the invading foe. A wild scene of 
disorder ensued, and amid the din of arms and loud commands of 
the officers the raw militia felt that they had already got into the 
red jaws of battle. One of the alarm sentinels, in running to the 
center of the encampment, leaped over a blazing camp fire, and 
alighted full upon the breast and stomach of a sleeping lawyer, who 
was, no doubt, at that moment dreaming of vested and contingent 
remainders, rich clients and good fees, which in legal parlance was 
suddenly estopped by the hob-nails in the stogas of the scared 
sentinel. As soon as the counselor's vitality and consciousness 
sufficiently returned, he put in some strong demurrers to the con- 
duct of the affrighted picket men, averring that he would greatly 
prefer being wounded by the enemy to being run over by a cowardly 
booby. Next morning the organizers of the ruse were severely 

May 28, 1832, Governor Noble ordered General Walker to call 
out his whole command, if necessary, and supply arms, horses and 


provisions, even though it be necessary to seize them. The next 
day four baggage wagons, loaded with camp equipments, stores, 
provisions and other articles, were sent to the little army, who were 
thus provided for a campaign of five or six weeks. The following 
Thursday a squad of cavalry, under Colonel Sigler, passed through 
Lafayette on the way to the hostile region ; and on the 13th of June 
Colonel Russell, commandant of the 40th Regiment, Indiana Militia, 
passed through Lafayette with 340 mounted volunteers from the 
counties of Marion, Hendricks and Johnson. Also, several com- 
panies of volunteers from Montgomery, Fountain and Warren 
counties, hastened to the relief of the frontier settlers. The troops 
from Lafayette marched to Sugar creek, and after a short time, 
there being no probability of finding any of the enemy, were 
ordered to return, They all did so except about 45 horsemen, who 
volunteered to cross Hickory creek, where the Indians had com- 
mitted their depredations. They organized a company by electing 
Samnei McGeorge, a soldier of the war of 1812, Captain, and Amos 
Allen and Andrew "W. Ingraham, Lieutenants. 

Crossing Hickory creek, they marched as far as O'Plein river 
without meeting with opposition. Finding no enemy here they 
concluded to return. On the first night of their march home they 
encamped on the open prairie, posting sentinels, as usual. About 
ten o'clock it began to rain, and it was with difficulty that the sen- 
tinels kept their guns dry. Capt. I. H. Cpx and a man named Fox 
had been posted as sentinels within 15 or 20 paces of each other. 
Cox drew the skirt of his overcoat over his gun-lock to keep it dry; 
Fox, perceiving this motion, and in the darkness taking him for an 
Indian, fired upon him and fractured his thigh-bone. Several sol- 
diers immediately ran toward the place where the flash of the gun 
had been seen; but when they cocked and leveled their guns on the 
figure which had fired at Cox, the wounded man caused them to 
desist by crying, " Don't shoot him, it was a sentinel who shot me." 
The next day the wounded man was left behind the company in 
care of four men, who, as soon as possible, removed him on a litter 
to Col. Moore's company of Illinois militia, then encamped on the 
O'Plein, where Joliet now stands. 

Although the main body returned to Lafayette in eight or nine 
days, yet the alarm among the people was so great that they could 
not be induced to return to their farms for some time. The pres- 
ence of the hostiles was hourly expected by the frontier settlements 
of Indiana, from Vinceunes to La Porte. In Clinton county the 


inhabitants gathered within the forts and prepared for a regular 
siege, while our neighbors at Crawfordsville were suddenly 
astounded by the arrival of a courier at full speed with the announce- 
ment that the Indians, more than a thousand in number, were then 
crossing the Nine-Mile prairie about twelve miles north of town, 
killing and scalping all. The strongest houses were immediately 
put in a condition of defense, and sentinels were placed at the prin- 
cipal points in the direction of the enemy. Scouts were sent out to 
reconnoitre, and messengers were dispatched in different directions 
to announce the danger to the farmers, and to urge them to hasten 
with their families into town, and to assist in fighting the moment- 
arily expected savages. At night-fall the scouts brought in the 
news that the Indians had not crossed the Wabash, but were hourly 
expected at Lafayette. The citizens of Warren, Fountain and Ver- 
million counties were alike terrified by exaggerated stories of Indian 
massacres, and immediately prepared for defense. It turned out 
that the Indians were not within 100 miles of these temporary 
forts; but this by no means proved a want of courage in the citizens. 

After some time had elapsed, a portion of the troops were 
marched back into Tippecanoe county and honorably discharged ; 
but the settlers were still loth for a long time to return to their 
farms. Assured by published reports that the Miamis and Potta- 
watomies did not intend to join the hostiles, the people by degrees 
recovered from the panic and began to attend to their neglected 

During this time there was actual war in Illinois. Black Hawk 
and his warriors, well nigh surrounded by a well-disciplined foe, 
attempted to cross to the west bank of the Mississippi, but after 
being chased up into Wisconsin and to the Mississippi again, he 
was in a final battle taken captive. A few years after his liberation, 
about 1837 or 1838, he died, on the banks of the Des Moines river, 
in Iowa, in what is now the county of Davis, where his remains 
were deposited above ground, in the usual Indian style. His re- 
mains were afterward stolen and carried away, but they were re- 
covered by the Governor of Iowa and placed in the museum of the 
Historical Society at Burlington, where they were finally destroyed 
by fire. 


In July, 1837, Col. Abel C. Pepper convened the Pottawatomie 
nation of Indians at Lake Ke-waw-nay for the purpose of remov- 
ing them west of the Mississippi. That fall a small party of some 
80 or 90 Pottawatomies was conducted west of the Mississippi 
river by George Proffit, Esq. Among the number were Ke-waw- 
nay, Nebash, Nas-waw-kay, Pash-po-ho and many other leading 
men of the nation. The regular emigration of these poor Indians, 
about 1,000 in number, took place under Col. Pepper and Gen. Tip- 
ton in the summer of 1838. 

It was a sad and mournful spectacle to witness these children of 
the forest slowly retiring from the home of their childhood, that 
contained not only the graves of their revered ancestors, but also 
many endearing scenes to which their memories would ever recur 
as sunny spots along their pathway through the wilderness. They 
felt that they were bidding farewell to the hills, valleys and streams 
of their infancy; the more exciting hunting-grounds of their ad- 
vanced youth, as well as the stern and bloody battle-fields where 
they had contended in riper manhood, on which they had received 
wounds, and where many of their friends and loved relatives had 
fallen covered with gore and with glory. All these they were leav- 
ing behind them, to be desecrated by the plowshare of the white 
man. As they cast mournful glances back toward these loved 
scenes that were rapidly fading in the distance, tears fell from the 
cheek of the downcast warrior, old men trembled, matrons wept, 
the swarthy maiden's cheek turned pale, and sighs and half-sup- 
pressed sobs escaped from the motley groups as they passed along, 
some on foot, some on horseback, and others in wagons, — sad as a 
funeral procession. Several of the aged warriors were seen to cast 
glances toward the sky, as if they were imploring aid from the 
spirits of their departed heroes, who were looking down upon them 
from the clouds, or from the Great Spirit, who would ultimately 
redress the wrongs of the red man, whose broken bow had fallen 
from his hand, and whose sad heart was bleeding within him. 
Ever and anon one of the party would start out into the brush and 
break back to their old encampments on Eel river and on the Tippe- 



canoe, declaring that they would rather die than be banished from 
their country. Thus, scores of discontented emigrants returned 
from different points on their journey ; and it was several years 
before they could be induced to join their countrymen west of the 

Several years after the removal of the Pottawatomies the Miami 
nation was removed to their Western home, by coercive means, un- 
der an escort of United States troops. They were a proud and 
once powerful nation, but at the time of their removal were far 
inferior, in point of numbers, to the Pottawatomie guests whom 
they had permitted to settle and hunt upon their lands, and fish in 
their lakes and rivers after they had been driven southward by 
powerful and warlike tribes who inhabited the shores of the North- 
ern lakes. 


In 1831 a joint resolution of the Legislature of Indiana, request- 
ing an appropriation by Congress for the extinguishment of the 
Indian title to lands within the State, was forwarded to that body? 
which granted the request. The Secretary of War, by authority, 
appointed a committee of three citizens to carry into effect the pro- 
visions of the recent law. The Miamis were surrounded on all 
sides by American settlers, and were situated almost in the heart 
of the State on the line of the canal then being made. The chiefs 
were called to a council for the purpose of making a treaty; they 
promptly came, .but peremptorily refused to go westward or sell 
the remainder of their land. The Pottawatomies sold about 
6,000,000 acres in Indiana, Illinois and Michigan, including all 
their claim in this State. 

In 1838 a treaty was concluded with the Miami Indians through 
the good offices of Col. A. C. Pepper, the Indian agent, by which 
a considerable of the most desirable portion of their reserve was 
ceded to the United States. 


As an example of the manner in which land speculators were 
treated by the early Indianians, we cite the following instances 
from Cox's u .Recollections of the Wabash Valley." 

At Crawfordsville, Dec. 21, 1824, many parties were present 
from the eastern and southern portions of the State, as well as from 
Ohio, Kentucky, Tennessee and even Pennsylvania, to attend a 
land sale. There was but little bidding against each other. The 
settlers, or " squatters," as they were called by the speculators, had 
arranged matters among themselves to their general satisfaction. 
If, upon comparing numbers, it appeared that two were after the 
same tract of land, one would ask the other what he would take 
not to bid against him ; if neither would consent to be bought off 
they would retire and cast lots, and the lucky one would enter the 
tract at Congress price, 81.25 an acre, and the other would enter the 
second choice on his list. If a speculator made a bid, or showed a 
disposition to take a settler's claim from him, he soon saw the 
white of a score of eyes glaring at him, and he would " crawfish" 
out of the crowd at the first opportunity. 

The settlers made it definitely known to foreign capitalists that 
they would enter the tracts of land they had settled upon before 
allowing the latter to come in with their speculations. The land 
was sold in tiers of townships, beginning at the southern part of 
the district and continuing north until all had been offered at 
public sale. This plan was persisted in, although it kept many on 
the ground for several days waiting, who desired to purchase land 
in the northern part of the district. 

In 1827 a regular Indian scare was gotten up to keep specu- 
lators away for a short time. A man who owned a claim on Tippe- 
canoe river, near Pretty prairie, fearing that some one of the 
numerous land hunters constantly scouring the country might 
enter the land he had settled upon before he could raise the money 
to buy it, and seeing one day a cavalcade of land hunters riding 
toward where his land lay, mounted his horse and darted off at 
full speed to meet them, swinging his hat and shouting at the top 

of his voice, " Indians! Indians! the woods are full of Indians, 



murdering and scalping all before them!" They paused a moment, 
but as the terrified horseman still urged his jaded animal and cried, 
"Help! Longlois, Cicots, help!" they turned and fled like a troop of 
retreating cavalry, hastening to the thickest settlements and giving 
the alarm, which spread like fire among stubble until the whole 
frontier region was shocked with the startling cry. The squatter 
who fabricated the story and started this false alarm took a cir- 
cuitous route home that evening, and while others were busy 
building temporary block-houses and rubbing up their guns to 
meet the Indians, he was quietly gathering up money and slipped 
down to Crawfordsville and entered his land, chuckling to himself, 
" There's a Yankee trick for you, done up by a Hoosier." 


In 1814 a society of Germans under Frederick Rappe, who had 
originally come from Wirtemberg, Germany, and more recently 
from Pennsylvania, founded a settlement on the Wabash about 50 
miles above its mouth. They were industrious, frugal and honest 
Lutherans. They purchased a large quantity of land and laid off 
a town, to which they gave the name of " Harmony," afterward 
called "New Harmony." They erected a church and a public 
school-house, opened farms, planted orchards and vineyards, built 
flouring mills, established a house of public entertainment, a public 
store, and carried on all the arts of peace with skill and regularity. 
Their property was " in common," according to the custom of an- 
cient Christians at Jerusalem, but the governing power, both tem- 
poral and spiritual, was vested in Frederick Rappe, the elder, who 
was regarded as the founder of the society. By the year 1821 the 
society numbered about 900. Every individual of proper age con- 
tributed his proper share of labor. There were neither spendthrifts, 
idlers nor drunkards, and during the whole 17 years of their sojourn 
in America there was not a single lawsuit among them. Every 
controversy arising among them was settled by arbitration, expla- 
nation and compromise before sunset of the day, literally according 
to the injunction of the. apostle of the New Testament. 

About 1825 the town of Harmony and a considerable quantity 
of land adjoining was sold to Robert Owen, father of David Dale 
Owen, the State Geologist, and of Robert Dale Owen, of later 
notoriety. He was a radical philosopher from Scotland, who had 
become distinguished for his philanthropy and opposition to 


Christianity. He charged the latter with teaching false notions 
regarding human responsibility — notions which have since been 
clothed in the language of physiology, mental philosophy, etc. 
Said he: 

" That which has hitherto been called wickedness in our fellow 
men has proceeded from one of two distinct causes, or from some 
combination of those causes. They are what are termed bad or 

" 1. Because they are born with faculties or propensities which 
render them more liable, under the same circumstances, than other 
men, to commit such actions as are usually denominated wicked; 

" 2. Because they have been placed by birth or other events in 
particular countries, — have been influenced from infancy by par- 
ents, playmates and others, and have been surrounded by those 
circumstances which gradually and necessarily trained them in the 
habits and sentiments called wicked ; or, 

" 3. They have become wicked in consequence of some particu- 
lar combination of these causes. 

" If it should be asked, Whence then has wickedness pro- 
ceeded ? I reply, Solely from the ignorance of our forefathers. 

" Every society which exists at present, as well as every society 
which history records, has been formed and governed on a belief 
in the following notions, assumed as first principles: 

" 1. That it is in the power of every individual to form his own 
character. Hence the various systems called by the name of religion, 
codes of law, and punishments; hence, also, the angry passions 
entertained by individuals and nations toward each other. 

" 2. That the affections are at the command of the individual. 
Hence insincerity and degradation of character; hence the miseries 
of domestic life, and more than one-half of all the crimes of man- 

" 3. That it is necessary a large portion of mankind should ex- 
ist in ignorance and poverty in order to secure to the remaining part 
such a degree of happiness as they now enjoy. Hence a system of 
counteraction in the pursuits of men, a general opposition among 
individuals to the interests of each other, and the necessary effects 
of such a system, — ignorance, poverty and vice. 


During the administration of Gov. Whitcomb the war with 
Mexico occurred, which resulted in annexing to the United States 
vast tracts of land in the south and west. Indiana contributed her 
full ratio to the troops in that war, and with a remarkable spirit of 
promptness and patriotism adopted all measures to sustain the gen- 
eral Government. These new acquisitions of territory re-opened 
the discussion of the slavery question, and Governor Whitcomb 
expressed his opposition to a further extension of the " national 

The causes which led to a declaration of war against Mexico in 
1846, must be sought for as far back as the year 1830, when the 
present State of Texas formed a province of New and Independent 
Mexico. During the years immediately preceding 1830, Moses 
Austin, of Connecticut, obtained a liberal grant of lands from the 
established Government, and on his death his son was treated in an 
equally liberal manner. The glowing accounts rendered by Aus- 
tin, and the vivid picture of Elysian fields drawn by visiting jour- 
nalists, soon resulted in the influx of a large tide of immigrants, 
nor did the movement to the Southwest cease until 1830. The 
Mexican province held a prosperous population, comprising 10,000 
American citizens. The rapacious Government of the Mexicans 
looked with greed and jealousy upon their eastern province, and, 
under the presidency of Gen. Santa Anna, enacted such measures, 
both unjust and oppressive, as would meet their design of goading 
the people' of Texas on to revolution, and thus afford an opportu- 
nity for the infliction of punishment upon subjects whose only 
crime was industry and its accompaniment, prosperity. Precisely 
in keeping with the course pursued by the British toward the col- 
onists of the Eastern States in the last century, Santa Anna's 
Government met the remonstrances of the colonists of Texas with 
threats; and they, secure in their consciousness of right quietly 
issued their declaration of independence, and proved its literal 
meaning on the field of Gonzales in 1835, having with a force of 



500 men forced the Mexican army of 1,000 to fly for refuge to their 
strongholds. Battle after battle followed, bringing victory always 
to the Colonists, and ultimately resulting in the total rout of the 
Mexican army and the evacuation of Texas. The routed army 
after a short term of rest reorganized, and reappeared in the Terri- 
tory, 8,000 strong. On April 21, a division of this large force 
under Santa Anna encountered the Texans under General Samuel 
Houston on the banks of the San Jacinto, and though Houston 
could only oppose 800 men to the Mexican legions, the latter were 
driven from the field,nor could they reform their scattered ranks until 
their General was captured next day and forced to sign the declaration 
of 1835. The signature of Santa Anna, though ignored by the 
Congress of the Mexican .Republic, and consequently left unratified 
on the part of Mexico, was effected in so much, that after the sec- 
ond defeat of the army of that Republic all the hostilities of an 
important nature ceased, the Republic of Texas was recognized by 
the powers, and subsequently became an integral part of the United 
States, July 4, 1846. At this period General Herrera was pres- 
ident of Mexico. He was a man of peace, of common sense, and 
very patriotic; and he thus entertained, or pretended to enter- 
tain, the great neighboring Republic in high esteem. For this 
reason he grew unpopular with his people, and General Paredes 
was called to the presidential chair, which he continued to occupy 
until the breaking out of actual hostilities with the Uuited States, 
when Gen. Santa Anna was elected thereto. 

President Polk, aware of the state of feeling in Mexico, ordered 
Gen. Zachary Taylor, in command of the troops in the Southwest, to 
proceed to Texas, and post himself as near to the Mexican border 
as he deemed prudent. At the same time an American squadron was 
dispatched to the vicinity, in the Gulf of Mexico. In November, 
General Taylor had taken his position at Corpus Christi, a Texan 
settlement on a bay of the same name, with about 4,000 men. On 
the 13th of January, 1846, the President ordered him to advance 
with his forces to the Rio Grande; accordingly he proceeded, and 
in March stationed himself on the north bank of that river, with- 
in cannon-shot of the Mexican town of Matamoras. Here he 
hastily erected a fortress, called Fort Brown. The territory ly- 
ing between the river Nueces and the Rio Grande river, about 
120 miles in width, was claimed both by Texas and Mexico; ac- 
cording to the latter, therefore, General Taylor had actually 
invaded her Territory, and had thus committed an open 


act of war. On the 26th of April, the Mexican General, Ampudia, 
gave notice to this effect to General Taylor, and on the same day a 
party of American dragoons, sixty-three in number, being on the 
north side of the Rio Grande, were attacked, and, after the loss of 
sixteen men killed and wounded, were forced to surrender. Their 
commander, Captain Thornton, only escaped. The Mexican forces 
had now crossed the river above Matamoras and were supposed to 
meditate an attack on Point Isabel, where Taylor had established a 
depot of supplies for his army. On the 1st of May, this officer left 
a small number of troops at Fort Brown, and marched with his 
chief forces, twenty-three hundred men, to the defense of Point 
Isabel. Having garrisoned this place, he set out on his return. 
On the 8th of May, about noon, he met the Mexican army, six 
thousand strong, drawn up in battle array, on the prairie near Palo 
Alto. The Americans at once advanced to the attack, and, after an 
action of five hours, in which their artillery was very effective, 
drove the enemy before them, and encamped upon the field. The 
Mexican loss was about one hundred killed; that ot the Americans, 
four killed and forty wounded. Major Ringgold, of the artillery, 
an officer of great merit, was mortally wounded. The next day, as 
the Americans advanced, they again met the enemy in a strong 
position near Resaca de la Palma, three miles from Fort Brown. 
An action commenced, and was fiercely contested, the artillery on 
both sides being served with great vigor. At last the Mexicans 
gave way, and fled in confusion, General de la Yega having fallen 
into the hands of' the Americans. They also abandoned their guns 
and a large quantity of ammunition to the victors. The remain- 
ing Mexican soldiers speedily crossed the Rio Grande, and the next 
day the Americans took up their position at Fort Brown. This 
little fort, in the absence of General Taylor, had gallantly sustained 
an almost uninterrupted attack of several days from the Mexican 
batieries of Matamoras. 

When the news of the capture of Captain Thornton's party was 
spread over the United States, it produced great excitement. The 
President addressed a message to Congress, then in session, declar- 
ing " that war with Mexico existed by her own act;" and that body, 
May, 1846, placed ten millions of dollars at the President's dispo- 
sal, and authorized him to accept the services of fifty thousand 
volunteers. A great part of the summer of 1846 was spent in prep- 
aration for the war, it being resolved to invade Mexico at several 
points. In pursuance of this plan, General Taylor, who had taken 


possession of Matamoras, abandoned by the enemy in May, marched 
northward in the enemy's country in August, and on the 19th of 
September he appeared before Monterey, capital of the Mexican 
State of New Leon. His army, after having garrisoned several 
places along his route, amounted to six thousand men. The attack 
began on the 21st, and after a succession of assaults, during the 
period of four days, the Mexicans capitulated, leaving the town 
in possession of the Americans. In October, General Taylor 
terminated an armistice into which he had entered with the 
Mexican General, and again commenced offensive operations. 
Various towns and fortresses of the enemy now rapidly fell into 
our possession. In November, Saltillo, the capital of the State 
of Coahuila was occupied by the division of General AVorth; 
in December, General Patterson took possession of Victoria, 
the capital of Taraaulipas, and nearly at the same period, 
Commodore Perry captured the fort of Tampico. Santa Fe, 
the capital of New Mexico, with the whole territory of the State 
had been subjugated by General Harney, after a march of one 
thousand miles through the wilderness. Events of a startling char- 
acter had taken place at still earlier dates along the Pacific coast. On 
the 4th of Julv, Captain Fremort, having repeatedly defeated su- 
perior Mexican forces with the small band under his command, de- 
clared California independent of Mexico. Other important places 
in this region had yielded to the American naval force, and in Au- 
gust, 1846, the whole of California was in the undisputed occupa- 
tion of the Americans, 

The year 1847 opened with still more brilliant victories on the 
part of our armies. By the drawing off of a large part of 
General Taylor's troops for a meditated attack on Vera Cruz, he 
was left with a comparatively small force to meet the great body of 
Mexican troops, now marching upon him, under command of the 
celebrated Santa Anna, who had again become President of Mexico. 

Ascertaining the advance of this powerful army, twenty thou- 
sand strong, and consisting of the best of the Mexican soldiers, 
General Taylor took up his position at Buena Vista, a valley a few 
miles from Saltillo. His whole troops numbered only four thousand 
seven hundred and fifty-nine, and here, on the 23d of February, he 
was vigorously attacked by the Mexicans. The battle was very 
severe, and continued nearly the whole day, when the Mexicans fled 
from the field in disorder, with a loss of nearly two thousand men. 
Santa Anna speedily withdrew, and thus abandoned the region of 


the Rio Grande to the complete occupation of our troops. This left 
our forces at liberty to prosecute the grand enterprise of the cam- 
paign, the capture of the strong town of Vera Cruz, with its re- 
Downed castle of San Juan d'Ulloa. On the 9th of March, 1S47, 
General Scott landed near the city with an army of twelve thousand 
men, and on the 18th commenced an attack. For four days and 
nights an almost incessant shower of shot and shells was poured 
upon the devoted town, while the batteries of the castle and the city 
replied with terrible energy. At last, as the Americans were pre- 
paring for an assault, the Governor of the city offered to surrender, 
and on the 26th the American flag floated triumphantly from the 
walls of the castle and the city. General Scott now prepared to 
march upon the city of Mexico, the capital of the country, situated 
two hundred miles in the interior, and approached only through a 
series of rugged passes and mountain fastnesses, rendered still more 
formidable by several strong fortresses. On the 8th of April the 
army commenced their march. At Cerro Gordo, Santa Anna had 
posted himself with fifteen thousand men. On the 18th the Amer- 
icans began the daring attack, and by midday every intrenchment 
of the enemy had been carried. The loss of the Mexicans in this 
remarkable battle, besides one thousand killed and wounded, was 
three thousand prisoners, forty-three pieces of cannon, five 
thousand stand of arms, and all their amunitions and mate- 
rials of war. The loss of the Americans was four hundred 
and thirty-one in killed and wounded. The next day our forces 
advanced, and, capturing fortress after fortress, came on the 
18th of August within ten miles of Mexico, a city of two hun- 
dred thousand inhabitants, and situated in one of the most 
beautiful valleys in the world. On the 20th they attacked and 
carried the strong batteries of Contreras, garrisoned by 7,000 men, 
in an impetuous assault, which lasted but seventeen minutes. On 
the same day an attack was made by the Americans on the fortified 
post of Churubusco, four miles northeast of Contreras Here 
nearly the entire Mexican army — more than 20,000 in number — 
were posted; but they were defeated at every point, and obliged to 
seek a retreat in the city, or the still remaining fortress of Chapul- 
tepec. While preparations were being made on the 21st by Gen- 
eral Scott, to level his batteries against the city, prior to summon- 
ing it to surrender, he received propositions from the enemy, which 
terminated in an armistice. This ceased on the 7th of September. 
On the 8th the outer defense of Chapultepec was successfully 


stormed by General Worth, though he lost one-fourth of his men 
in the desperate struggle. The castle of Chapul tepee, situated on 
an abrupt and rocky eminence, 150 feet above the surrounding 
country, presented a most formidable object of attack. On the 
12th, however, the batteries were opened against it, and on the 
next day the citadel was carried by storm. The Mexicans still strug- 
gled along the great causeway leading to the city, as the Americans 
advanced, but before nightfal a part of our army was within the 
gates of the city. Santa Anna and the officers of the Government 
fled, and the next morning, at seven o'clock, the flag of the Ameri- 
cans floated from the national palace of Mexico. This conquest of 
the capital was the great and final achievement of the war. The 
Mexican republic was in fact prostrate, her sea-coast and chief 
cities being in the occupation of our troops. On the 2d of Feb- 
ruary, 184$, terms of peace were agreed upon by the American 
commiss'oner and the Mexican Government, this treaty being rati- 
fied by the Mexican Congress on the 30th ot May following, and 
by the United States soon after. President Polk proclaimed peace 
on the 4th of July, 1848. In the preceding sketch we have given 
only a mere outline of the war with Mexico. We have necessarily 
passed over many interesting events, and have not even named 
many of our soldiers who performed gallant and important ser- 
vices. General Taylor's successful operations in the region of the 
Pio Grande were duly honored by the people of the United States, 
by bestowing upon him the Presidency. General Scott's campaign, 
from the attack on Vera Cruz, to the surrender of the city of 
Mexico, was far more remarkable, and, in a military point of view, 
must be considered as one of the most brilliant of modern times. It 
is true the Mexicans are not to be ranked with the great nations of 
the earth; with a population of seven or eight millions, they have 
little more than a million of the white race, the rest being half-civ- 
ilized Indians and mestizos, that is, those of mixed blood. Their 
government is inefficient, and the people divided among them- 
selves. Their soldiers often fought bravely, but they were badly 
officered. While, therefore, we may consider the conquest of so 
extensive and populous a country, in so short a time, and attended 
with such constant superiority even to the greater numbers of the 
enemy, as highly gratifying evidence of the courage and capacity 
ot our army, still we must not, in judging of our achievements, fail 
to consider the real weakness of the nation whom we vanquished. 


One thing we may certainly dwell upon with satisfaction — the ad- 
mirable example, not only as a soldier, but as a man, set by our com- 
mander, Gen. Scott, who seems, in the midst of war and the ordinary 
license of the camp, always to have preserved the virtue, kindness, 
and humanity belonging to a state of peace. These qualities 
secured to him the respect, confidence and good-will even of the 
enemy he had conquered. Among the Generals who effectually 
aided General Scott in this remarkable campaign, we must not 
omit to mention the names of Generals Wool, Twiggs, Shields, 
Worth, Smith, and Quitman, who generally added to the high 
qualities of soldiers the still more estimable characteristics of 
good men. The treaty of Guadalupe-Hidalgo stipulated that the 
disputed territory between the Nueces and the Rio Grande should 
belong to the United States, and it now forms a part of Texas, as 
has been already stated ; that the United States should assume and 
pay the debts due from Mexico to American citizens, to the amount 
of $3,500,000; and that, in consideration of the sum of $15,000,000 
to be paid by the United States to Mexico, the latter should 
relinquish to the former the whole of New Mexico and Upper 

The soldiers of Indiana who served in this war were formed into 
five regiments of volunteers, numbered respectively, 1st, 2d, 3rd, 
4th and 5th. The fact that companies of the three first-named reg- 
iments served at times with the men of Illinois, the New York 
volunteers, the Palmettos of South Carolina, and United States 
marines, under Gen. James Shields, makes for them a history; be- 
cause the campaigns of the Rio Grande and Chihuahua, the siege 
of Yera Cruz, the desperate encounter at Cerro Gordo, the tragic 
contests in the valley, at Contreras and Churubusco, the storming 
of Chapultepec, and the planting of the stars and stripes upon 
every turret and spire within the conquered city of Mexico, were 
all carried out by the gallant troops under the favorite old General, 
and consequently each of them shared with him in the glories at- 
tached to such exploits. s The other regiments under Cols. Gorman 
and Lane participated in the contests of the period under other com- 
manders. The 4th Regiment of Indiana Yolunteers, comprising 
ten companies, was formally organized at Jeffersonville, Indiana, 
by Capt. R. C. Gatlin, June 15, 1847, and on the 16th elected 
Major Willis A. Gorman, of the 3rd Regiment, to the Colonelcy; 
Ebenezer Dumont, Lieutenant-Colonel, and W. McCoy, Major. On 
the 27th of June the regiment left Jeffersonville for the front, and 


subsequently was assigned to Brigadier-General Lane's command, 
which then comprised a battery of five pieces from the 3rd Regi- 
ment U. S. Artillery; a battery of two pieces from the 2nd Regiment 
IT. S. Rrtillery, the 4th Regiment of Indiana Volunteers and the 4th 
Regiment of Ohio, with a squadron of mounted Louisianians and 
detachments of recruits for the U. S. army. The troops of this 
brigade won signal honors at Basso de Ovegas, August 10, 1847; 
National Bridge, on the 12th; Cerro Gordo, on the 15th; Las Ani- 
mas, on the 19th, under Maj. F. T. Lally, of General Lane's staff, 
and afterward under Lane, directly, took a very prominent part in 
the siege of Puebla, which began on the 15th of September and 
terminated on the 12th of October. At Atlixco, October 19th; 
Tlascala, November 10th; Matamoras and Pass Galajara, Novem- 
ber 23rd and 24th; Guerrilla Ranche, December 5th; Napaloncan, 
December 10th, the Indiana volunteers of the 4th Regiment per- 
formed gallant service, and carried the campaign into the following 
year, representing their State at St. Martin's, February 27, 1848; 
Cholula, March 26th; Matacordera, February 19th; Sequalteplan, 
February 25th; and on the cessation of hostilities reported at 
Madison, Indiana, for discharge, July 11, 1848; while the 5th In- 
diana Regiment, under Col. J. H. Lane, underwent a similar round 
of duty during its service with other brigades, and gained some 
celebrity at Vera Cruz, Churubusco and with the troops of Illinois 
under Gen. Shields at Chapultepec. 

This war cost the people of the United States sixty-six millions 
of dollars. This very large amount was not paid away for the at- 
tainment of mere glory; there was something else at stake, and 
this something proved to be a country larger and more fertile than 
the France of the Napoleons, and more steady and sensible than 
the France of the Republic. It was the defense of the great Lone 
Star State, the humiliation and chastisement of a quarrelsome 


We have already referred to the prohibition of slavery in the 
Northwestern Territory, and Indiana Territory by the ordinance of 
1787; to the imperfection in the execution of this ordinance and the 
troubles which the authorities encountered; and the complete estab- 
lishment of the principles of freedom on the organization of the State. 
The next item of significance in this connection is the following lan- 
guage in the message of Gov. Ray to the Legislature of 1828 : " Since 
our last separation, while we have witnessed with anxious solicitude 
the belligerent operations of another hemisphere, the cross contend- 
ing against the crescent, and the prospect of a general rupture among 
the legitimates of other quarters of the globe, our attention has 
been arrested by proceedings in our own country truly dangerous 
to liberty, seriously premeditated, and disgraceful to its authors 
if agitated only to tamper with the American people. If such ex- 
periments as we see attempted in certain deluded quarters do not 
fall with a burst of thunder upon the heads of their seditious pro- 
jectors, then indeed the Republic has begun to experience the days 
Of its degeneracy. The union of these States is the people's only 
sure charter for their liberties and independence. Dissolve it and 
each State will soon be in a condition as deplorable as Alexander's 
conquered countries after they were divided amongst his victorious 
military captains." 

In pursuance of a joint resolution of the Legislature of 1850, a 
block of native marble was procured and forwarded to Washington, 
to be placed in the monument then in the course of erection at the 
National Capital in memory of George Washington. In the 
absence of any legislative instruction concerning the inscription 
upon this emblem of Indiana's loyalty, Gov. Wright ordered the 
following words to be inscribed upon it: Indiana Knows No 
North, No South, Nothing but the Union. Within a dozen 
years thereafter this noble State demonstrated to the world her loy- 
alty to the Union and the principles of freedom by the sacrifice of 
blood and treasure which she made. In keeping with this senti- 
ment Gov. Wright indorsed the compromise measures of Congress 
on the slavery question, remarking in his message that " Indiana 
takes her stand in the ranks, not of Southern destiny, nor yet of 




Northern destiny: she plants herself on the basis of the Consti- 
tution and takes her stand in the ranks of American destiny." 


At the session of the Legislature in January, 1869, the subject 
of ratifying the fifteenth amendment to the Federal Constitution, 
allowing negro suffrage, came up with such persistency that neither 
party dared to undertake any other business lest it be checkmated 
in some way, and being at a dead lock on this matter, they adjourn- 
ed in March without having done much important business. The 
Democrats, as well as a portion of the conservative Republicans, 
opposed its consideration strongly on the ground that it would be 
unfair to vote on the question until the people of the State had had 
an opportunity of expressing their views at the polls; but most of 
the Republicans resolved to push the measure through, while the 
Democrats resolved to resign in a body and leave the Legislature 
without a quorum. Accordingly, on March 4, 17 Senators and 36 
Representatives resigned, leaving both houses without a quorum. 

As the early adjournment of the Legislature left the benevolent 
institutions of the State unprovided for, the Governor convened 
that body in extra session as soon as possible, and after the neces- 
sary appropriations were made, on the 19th of May the fifteenth 
amendment came up; but in anticipation of this the Democratic 
members had all resigned and claimed that there was no quorum 
present. There was a quorum, however, of Senators in office, 
though some of them refused to vote, declaring that they were no 
longer Senators; but the president of that body decided that as he 
had not been informed of their resignation by the Governor, they 
were still members. A vote was taken and the ratifying resolution 
was adopted. When the resolution came up in the House, the 
chair decided that, although the Democratic members had resigned } 
there was a quorum of the de-facto members present, and the 
House proceeded to pass the resolution. This decision of the chair 
was afterward sustained by the Supreme Court. 

At the next regular session of the Legislature, in 1871, the 
Democrats undertook to repeal the ratification, and the Republican 
members resigned to prevent it. The Democrats, as the Republi- 
cans did on the previous occasion, proceeded to pass their resolu- 
tion of repeal; but while the process was under way, before the 
House Committee had time to report on the matter, 34 Republican 
members resigned, thereby preventing its passage and putting a 
stop to further legislation. 


The events of the earlier years of this State have been reviewed 
down to that period in the nation's history when the Republic de- 
manded a first sacrifice from the newly erected States; to the time 
when the very safety of the glorious heritage, bequeathed by the 
fathers as a rich legacy, was threatened with a fate worse than death 
— a life under laws that harbored the slave — a civil defiance of the 
first principles of the Constitution. 

Indiana was among the first to respond to the summons of patri- 
otism, and register itself on the national roll ot honor, even as she 
was among the first to join in that song of joy which greeted a Re- 
public made doubly glorious within a century by the dual victory 
which won liberty for itself, and next bestowed the precious boon 
upon the colored slave. 

The fall of Fort Sumter was a signal for the uprising of the State, 
The news of the calamity was flashed to Indianapolis on the 14th of 
April, 1861, and early the next morning the electric wire brought 
the welcome message to Washington: — 

Executive Department of Indiana, ) 
Indianapolis, April 15, 1861. J 
To Abraham Lincoln, President of the United States: — On behalf of the State 
of Indiana, I tender to you for the defense of the Nation, and to uphold the au- 
thority of the Government, ten thousand men. 

Governor of Indiana. 

This may be considered the first official act of Governor Morton, 
who had just entered on the duties of his exalted position. The 
State was in an almost helpless condition, and yet the faith of the 
" War Governor " was prophetic, when, after a short consultation 
with the members of the Executive Council, he relied on the fidelity 
of ten thousand men and promised their services to the Protectorate 
at Washington. This will be more apparent when the military 
condition of the State at the beginning of 1861 is considered. At 
that time the armories contained less than five hundred stand of 
serviceable small arras, eight pieces of cannon which might be use- 
ful in a museum of antiquities, with sundry weapons which would 
merely do credit to the aborigines of one hundred years ago. The 
financial condition of the State was even worse than the military. 



The sum of $10,363.58 in trust funds was the amount of cash in the 
hands of the Treasurer, and this was, to all intents and purposes 
unavailable to meet the emergency, since it could not be devoted 
to the military requirements of the day. This state of affairs was 
dispiriting in the extreme, and would doubtless have militated 
against the ultimate success of any other man than Morton; yet 
he overleaped every difficulty, nor did the fearful realization of 
Floyd's treason, discovered during his visit to Washington, damp 
his indomitable courage and energy, but with rare persistence he 
urged the claims of his State, and for his exertions was requited 
with an order for five thousand muskets. The order wa3 not exe- 
cuted until hostilities were actually entered upon, and consequently 
for some days succeeding the publication of the President's procla- 
mation the people labored under a feeling of terrible anxiety min- 
gled with uncertainty, amid the confusion which followed the crim- 
inal negligence that permitted the disbandraent of the magnificent 
corps (V armee (51,000 men) of 1832 two years later in 1834, Great 
numbers of the people maintained their equanamity with the result 
of beholding within a brief space of time every square mile of their 
State represented by soldiers prepared to fight to the bitter end in 
defense of cherished institutions, and for the extension of the prin* 
ciple of human liberty to all States and classes within the limits of 
the threatened Union. This, their zeal, was not animated by hos- 
tility to the slave holders of the Southern States, but rather by a 
fraternal spirit, akin to that which urges the eldest brother to cor- 
rect the persistent follies of his juniors, and thus lead them from 
crime to the maintenance of family honor; in this correction, to 
draw them away from all that was cruel, diabolical and inhuman in 
the Republic, to all that is gentle, holy and sublime therein. Many 
of the raw troops were not only unimated by a patriotic feeling, 
but also by that beautiful idealization of the poet, who in his un- 
conscious Republicanism, said: 

" I would not have a slave to till my ground, 

To carry me, to fan me while I sleep, 

And tremble when I wake, for all the wealth 

That sinews bought and sold have ever earned 

No: dear as freedom is— and, in my heart's 

Just estimation, prized above all price — 

I had much rather be myself the slave,. 

And wear the bonds, than fasten them on him." 

Thus animated, it is not a matter for surprise to find the first 
call to arms issued by the President, and calling for 75,000 men, 


answered nobly by the people of Indiana. The quota of troops to 
be furnished by the State on the first call was 4,683 men for three 
years' service from April 15, 1860. On the 16th of April, Gov- 
ernor Morton issued his proclamation calling on all citizens of the 
State, who had the welfare of the Republic at heart, to organize 
themselves into six regiments in defense of their rights, and in 
Opposition to the varied acts of rebellion, charged by him against 
the Southern Confederates. To this end, the Hon. Lewis Wallace, 
a soldier of the Mexican. campaign was appointed Adjutant- General, 
Col. Thomas A. Morris of the United States Military Academy, 
Quartermaster-General, and Isaiah Mansur, a merchant of Indian- 
apolis, Commissary-General. These general officers converted the 
grounds and buildings of the State Board of Agriculture into a 
military headquarters, and designated the position Camp Morton, 
as the beginning of the many honors which were to follow the pop- 
ular Governor throughout his future career. Now the people, im- 
bued with confidence in their Government and leaders, rose to the 
grandeur of American freemen, and with an enthusiasm never 
equaled hitherto, flocked to the standard of the nation; so that 
within a few days (19th April) 2,400 men were ranked beneath 
their regimental banners, until as the official report testifies, the 
anxious question, passing from mouth to mouth, was, " Which of 
us will be allowed to go? " It seemed as if Indiana was about to 
monopolize the honors of the period, and place the 75.000 men 
demanded of the Union by the President, at his disposition. Even 
now under the genial sway of guaranteed peace, the features of 
Indiana's veterans- flush with righteous pride when these days — re- 
membrances of heroic sacrifice — are named, and freemen, still un- 
born, will read their history only to be blessed and glorified in the 
possession of such truly, noble progenitors. Nor were the ladies 
of the State unmindful of their duties. Everywhere they partook 
of the general enthusiasm, and made it practical so far as in their 
power, by embroidering and presenting standards and regimental 
colors, organizing aid and relief*, societies, and by many other acts 
of patriotism and humanity inherent in the high nature of woman. 
During the days set apart by the military authorities for the or- 
ganization of the regiments, the financiers of the State were en- 
gaged in the reception of munificent grants of money from pri- 
vate citizens, while the money merchants within and without the 
State offered large loans to the recognized Legislature without even 
imposing a condition of payment. This most practical generosity 


strengthened the hands of the Executive, and within a very few days 
Indiana had passed the crucial test, recovered some of her military 
prestige lost in 1834, and so was prepared to vie with the other 
and wealthier States in making sacrifices for the public welfare. 

On the 20th of April, Messrs, I. S. Dobbs and Alvis D. Gall re- 
ceived their appointments as Medical Inspectors of the Division, 
while Major T. J. Wood arrived at headquarters from Washington 
to receive the newly organized regiments into the service of the 
Union. At the moment this formal proceeding took place, Morton, 
unable to restrain the patriotic ardor of the people, telegraphed to 
the capitol that he could place six regiments of infantry at the dis- 
posal of the General Government within six days, if such a pro- 
ceeding were acceptable; but in consequence of the wires being cut 
between the State and Federal capitols, no answer came. Taking 
advantage of the little doubt which may have had existence in re- 
gard to future action in the matter and in the absence of general 
orders, he gave expression to an intention of placing the volunteers 
in camp, and in his message to the Legislature, who assembled three 
days later, he clearly laid down the principle of immediate action 
and strong measures, recommending a uote of $1,000,000 for there- 
organization of the volunteers, for the purchase of arms and supplies, 
and for the punishment of treason. The message was received most 
enthusiastically. The assembly recognized the great points made 
by the Governor, and not only yielded to them in toto, but also made 
the following grand appropriations: 

General military purposes $1,000,000 

Purchase of arms 500,000 

Contingent military expenses 100,000 

Organization and support of militia for two years 140,000 

These appropriations, together with the laws enacted during the 
session of the Assembly, speak for the men of Indiana. The celerity 
with which these laws were put in force, thediligince and economy 
exercised by the officers, entrusted with their administration, and 
that systematic genius, under which all the machinery of Govern- 
ment seemed to work in harmony, — all, all, tended to make for the 
State a spring-time of noble deeds, when seeds might be cast along 
her fertile fields and in the streets of her villages of industry to 
grow up at once and blossom in the ray of fame, and after to bloom 
throughout the ages. Within three days after the opening of the 
extra session of the Legislature (27th April) six new regiments were 
organized, and commissioned for three months' service. These reg- 


iments, notwithstanding the fact that the first six regiments were 
already mustered into the general service, were known as "The 
First Brigade, Indiana Volunteers," and with the simple object of 
making the way of the future student of a brilliant history clear, 
were numbered respectively 

Sixth Regiment, commanded by Col. T. T. Crittenden. 

Seventh " " " " Ebenezer Dnmont. 

Eighth " " " " W. P. Benton. 

Ninth " " " " R H. Milroy. 

Tenth " " " " T. T. Reynolds. 

Eleventh " " " " Lewis Wallace. 

The idea of these numbers was suggested by the fact that the 
military representation of Indiana in the Mexican Campaign was 
one brigade of five regiments, and to observe consecutiveness the 
regiments comprised in the first division of volunteers were thus 
numbered, and the entire force placed under Brigadier General T. 
A. Morris, with the following staff: John Love, Major; Cyrus C* 
Hines, Aid-de-camp; and J. A. Stein, Assistant Adjutant General. 
To follow the fortunes .of these volunteers through all the vicissi- 
tudes of war would prove a special work; yet their valor and endur- 
ance during their first term of service deserved a notice of even more 
value than that of the historian, since a commander's opinion has 
to be taken as the basis upon which the chronicler may expatiate. 
Therefore the following dispatch, dated from the headquarters of the 
Army of Occupation, Beverly Camp, W. Virginia, July 21, 1861, 
must be taken as one of the first evidences of their utility and 
valor: — 

"Governor O. P. Morton, Indianapolis, Indiana. 

Governor :— I have directed the three months' regiments from Indiana to 
move to Indianapolis, there to be mustered out and reorganized for three years' 

I cannot permit them to return to you without again expressing my high 
appreciation of the distinguished valor and endurance of the Indiana troops, and 
my hope that but a short time will elapse before I have the pleasure of knowing 
that they are again ready for the field. ******* 
I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant, 
George B. McClellan, 
Major- General, JJ. 8. A. 

On the return of the troops to Indianapolis, July 29, Brigadier 
Morris issued a lengthy, logical and well-deserved congratulatory 
address, from which one paragraph may be extracted to characterize 


the whole. After passing a glowing eulogium on their military 
qualities and on that unexcelled gallantry displayed at Laurel Hill, 
Phillipi and Carrick's Ford, he says: — 

" Soldiers ! You have now returned to the friends whose prayers went with you 
to the field of strife. They welcome you with pride and exultation. Your State 
and country acknowledge the value of your labors. May your future career be as 
your past has been, — honorable to yourselves and serviceable to your country." 

The six regiments forming Morris' brigade, together with one 
composed of the surplus volunteers, for whom there was no regi- 
ment in April, now formed a division of seven regiments, all reor- 
ganized for three years' service, between the 20th August and 20th 
September, with the exception of the new or 12th, which was ac- 
cepted for one year's service from May 11th, under command of 
Colonel John M. Wallace, and reorganized May 17, 1862, for three 
years' service under Col. W. H. Link, who, with 172 officers and 
men, received their mortal wounds during the Richmond (Ken- 
tucky) engagement, three months after its reorganization. 

The 13th Regiment, under Col. Jeremiah Sullivan, was mus- 
tered into the United States in 1861 and joined Gen. McClellan's 
command at Rich Mountain on the 10th July. The day following it 
was present under Gen. Rosencrans and lost eight men killed; three 
successive days it was engaged under Gen. I. I. Reynolds, and won 
its laurels at Cheat Mountain summit, where it participated in the 
decisive victory over Gen. Lee. 

The 14th Regiment, organized in 1861 for one year's service, and 
reorganized on the 7th of June at Terre Haute for three years' ser- 
vice. Commanded by Col. Kimball and showing a muster roll of 
1,134 men, it was one of the finest, as it was the first, three years' 
regiment organized in the State, with varying fortunes attached to 
its never ending round of duty from Cheat Mountain, September, 
1861, to Morton's Ford in 1864, and during the movement South in 
May of that year to the last of its labors, the battle of Cold Har- 

The 15th Regiment, reorganized at La Fayette 14th June, 1861, 
under Col. G. D. Wagner, moved on Rich Mountain on the 11th 
of July in time to participate in the complete rout of the enemy. 
On the promotion of Col. Wagner, Lieutenant-Col. G. A. Wood 
became Colonel of the regiment, November, 1862, and during the 
first days of January, 1863, took a distinguished part in the severe 
action of Stone River. From this period down to the battle of Mis* 
sion Ridge it was in a series of destructive engagements, and was, 


after enduring terrible hardships, ordered to Chattanooga, and 
thence to Indianapolis, where it was mustered out the 18th June, 
1864, — four days after the expiration of its term of service. 

The 16th Kegiment, organized under Col. P. A. Hackleman at 
Richmond for one year's service, after participating in many minor 
military eventsj was mustered out at Washington, D.C., on the 14th 
of May, 1S62. Col. Hackleman was killed at the battle of Iuka, 
and Lieutenant-Col. Thomas I. Lucas succeeded to the command. 
It was reorganized at Indianapolis for three years' service, May 27, 
1862, and took a conspicuous part in all the brilliant engagements 
of the war down to June, 1865, when it was mustered out at New 
Orleans. The survivors, numbering 365 rank and file, returned to 
Indianapolis the 10th of July amid the rejoicing of the populace. 

The 17th Regiment was mustered into service at Indianapolis 
the 12th of June, 1861, for three years, under Col. Hascall, who 
on being promoted Brigadier General in March, 1862, left the 
Colonelcy to devolve on Lieutenant Colonel John T. Wilder. This 
regiment participated in the many exploits of Gen. Reynold's army 
from Green Brier in 1862, to Macon in 1865, under Gen. Wilson. 
Returning to Indianapolis the 16th of August, in possession of a 
brilliant record, the regiment was disbanded. 

The 18th Regiment, under Colonel Thomas Pattison, was organ- 
ized at Indianapolis, and mustered into service on the 16th of 
August, 1861. Under Gen. Pope it gained some distinction at 
Blackwater, and succeeded in retaining a reputation made there, 
by its gallantry at Pea Ridge, February, 1862, down to the moment 
when it planted' the regimental flag on the arsenal of Augusta, 
Georgia, where it was disbanded August 28, 1865. 

The 19th Regiment, mustered into three years' service at the 
State capital July 29, 1861, was ordered to join the army of the 
Potomac, and reported its arrival at Washington, August 9. Two 
days later it took part in the battle of Lewinsville, under Colonel 
Solomon Meredith. Occupying Falls Church in September, 1861, 
it continued to maintain a most enviable place of honor on the 
military roll until its consolidation with the 20th Regiment, October, 
1864, under Colonel William Orr, formerly its Lieutenant Colonel. 

The 20th Regiment of La Fayette was organized in July, 1861, 
mustered into three years' service at Indianapolis on the 22d of the 
same month, and reached the front at Cockeysville, Maryland, 
twelve days later. Throughout &d its orilliant actions from Hat- 
teras Bank, on the 4th of October, to Clover Hill, 9th of April, 1865, 


including the saving of the United States ship Congress, at New- 
port News, it added daily some new name to its escutcheon. This 
regiment was mustered out at Louisville in July, 1865, and return- 
ing to Indianapolis was welcomed by the great war Governor of 
their State. 

The 21st .Regiment was mustered into service under Colonel I. 
W. McMillan, July 24, 1861, and reported at the front the third 
day of August. It was the first regiment to enter New Orleans. 
The fortunes of this regiment were as varied as its services, so that 
its name and fame, grown from the blood shed by its memters, are 
destined to live and flourish. In December, 1863, the regiment 
was reorganized, and on the 19th February, 1864, many of its 
veterans returned to their State, where Morton received them with 
that spirit of proud gratitude which he was capable of showing to 
those who deserve honor for honors won. 

The 22d Regiment, under Colonel Jeff. C. Davis, left Indian- 
apolis the 15th of August, and was attached to Fremont's Corps at 
St. Louis on the 17th. From the day it moved to the support of 
Colonel Mulligan at Lexington, to the last victory, won under 
General Sherman at Bentonville, on the 19th of March, 1865, it 
gained a high military reputation. After the fall of Johnston's 
southern army, this regiment was mustered out, and arrived at 
Indianapolis on the 16th June. 

The 23d Battalion, commanded by Colonel W. L. Sanderson, 
was mustered in at New Albany, the 29th July, 1861, and moved 
to the front early in August. From its unfortunate marine ex- 
periences before Fort Henry to Bentonville it won unusual honors, 
and after its disbandment at Louisville, returned to Indianapolis 
July 24, 1865, where Governor Morton and General Sherman 
reviewed and complimented the gallant survivors. 

The 24th Battalion, under Colonel Alvin P. Hovey, was 
mustered at Vincennes the 31st of July, 1861. Proceeding imme- 
diately to the front it joined Fremont's command, and participated 
under many Generals in important affairs during the war. Three 
hundred and ten men and officers returned to their State in August, 
1865, and were received with marked honors by the people and 

The 25th Regiment, of Evansville mustered into service there 
for three years under Col. J. C. Veatch, arrived at St. Louis on the 
26th of August, 1861. During the war this regiment was present 
at 18 battles and skirmishes, sustaining therein a loss of 352 men 


and officers. Mustered out at Louisville, July 17, 1865, it returned 
to Indianapolis on the 21st amid universal rejoicing. 

The 26th Battalion, under W. M. Wheatley, left Indianapolis 
for the front the 7th of September, 1861, and after a brilliant cam- 
paign under Fremont, Grant, Heron and Smith, may be said to 
disband the 18th of September, 1865, when the non-veterans and 
recruits were reviewed by Morton at the State capital. 

The 27th Regiment, uuder Col. Silas Colgrove, moved from 
Indianapolis to Washington City, September 15th, 1861, and in 
October*was allied to Gen. Banks' army. From Winchester 
Heights, the 9th of March 1862, through all the affairs of General 
Sherman's campaign, it acted a gallant and faithful part, and was 
disbanded immediately after returning to their State. 

The 28th or 1st Cavalry was mustered into service at Evans- 
ville on the 20th of August, 1861, under Col. Conrad Baker. From 
the skirmish at Ironton, on the 12th of September, wherein three 
companies under Col. Gavin captured a position held by a 
few rebels, to the battle of the Wilderness, the First Cavalry per- 
formed prodigies of valor. In June and July, 1865, the troops 
were mustered out at Indianapolis. 

The 29th Battalion of La Porte, under Col. J. F. Miller, left 
on the 5th of October, 1861, and reaching Camp Nevin, Kentucky, 
on the 9th, was allied to Rosseau's Brigade, serving with McCook's 
division at Shiloh, with Buell's army in Alabama, Tennessee and 
Kentucky, with Rosencrans at Murfreesboro, at Decatur, Alabama, 
and at Dalton, Georgia. The Twenty-ninth won many laurels, 
and had its Colonel promoted to the rank of Brigadier General. 
This officer was succeeded in the command by Lieutenant-Col. 

The 30th Regiment of Fort Wayne, under Col. Sion S. Bass, 
proceeded to the front via Indianapolis, and joined General Rosseau 
at Camp Nevin on the 9th of October, 1861. At Shiloh, Col. 
Bass received a mortal wound, and died a few days later at 
Paducah, leaving the Colonelcy to devolve upon Lieutenant-Col. J. 
B. Dodge. In October 1865, it formed a battalion of General Sheri- 
dan's army of observation in Texas. 

The 31st Regiment, organized at Terre Haute, under Col. Charles 
Cruft, in September 1861, was mustered in, and left in a few days 
for Kentucky. Present at the reduction of Fort Donelson on the 
13th, 14th, and 15th of February, 1862, its list of killed and 
wounded proves its desperate fighting qualities. The organization 


was subjected to many changes, bat in all its phases maintained a 
fair fame won on many battle fields. Like the former regiment, 
it passed into Gen. Sheridan's Army of Observation, and held the 
district of Green Lake, Texas. 

The 32d Regiment of German Infantry, under Col. August 
"Willich, organized at Indianapolis, mustered on the 24th of August, 

1861, served with distinction throughout the campaign. Col. 
"Willich was promoted to the rank of Brigadier-General, and Lieut.- 
Col. Henry Yon Trebra commissioned to act, under whose com- 
mand the regiment passed into General Sheridan's Army, hold- 
ing the post of Salado Creek, until the withdrawal of the corps of 
observation in Texas. 

The 33d Regiment of Indianapolis possesses a military history 
of no small proportions. The mere facts that it was mustered in 
under Col. John Coburn, the 16th of September, won a series of 
distinctions throughout the war district and was mustered out at 
Louisville, July 21, 1865, taken with its name as one of the most 
powerful regiments engage4 in the war, are sufficient here. 

The 34th Battalion, organized at Anderson on the 16th Sep- 
tember, 1861, under Col. Ashbury Steele, appeared among the in- 
vesting battalions before New Madrid on the 30th of March, 1862. 
From the distinguished part it took in that siege, down to the 
13th of May, 1865, when at Palmetto Ranche, near Palo Alto, it 
fought for hours against fearful odds the last battle of the war for 
the Union. Afterwards it marched 250 miles up the Rio Grande, 
and was the first regiment to reoccupy the position, so long in 
Southern hands, of Ringold barracks. In 1865 it garrisoned Bea- 
consville as part of the Army of Observation. 

The 35th or First Irish Regiment, was organized at Indian- 
apolis, and mustered into service on the 11th of December, 1S61, 
under Col. John C. Walker. At Nashville, on the 22d of May, 

1862, it was joined by the organized portion of the Sixty-first or 
Second Irish Regiment, and unassigned recruits. Col. Mullen now 
became Lieut-Colonel of the 35th, and shortly after, its Colonel. 
From the pursuit of Gen. Bragg through Kentucky and the affair 
at Perryville on the 8th of October, 1862, to the terrible hand to 
hand combat at Kenesaw mountain, on the night of the 20th of 
June, 1864, and again from the conclusion of the Atlanta campaign 
to September, 1865, with Gen. Sheridan's army, when it was mus- 
tered out, it won for itself a name of reckless daring and unsur- 
passed gallantry. 


The 36th Regiment, of Richmond, Ind., under Col. William 
Grose, mustered into service tor three years on the 16th of Sep- 
tember, 1S61, went immediately to the front, and shared the for- 
tunes of the Army of the Ohio until the 27th of February, 1862, 
when a forward movement led to its presence on the battle-field of 
Shiloh. Following up the honors won at Shiloh, it participated in 
some of the most important actions of the war, and was, in October, 
1865, transferred to Gen. Sheridan's army. Col. Grose was pro- 
moted in 1864 to the position of Brigadier-General, and the 
Colonelcy devolved on Oliver II. P. Carey, formerly Lieut-Colonel 
of the regiment. 

The 37th Battalion, of Lawrencebnrg, commanded by Col. 
Geo. W. Hazzard, organized the 18th of September, 1861, left for 
the seat of war early in October. From the eventful battle of 
Stone river, in December, 1862, to its participation in Sherman's 
march through Georgia, it gained for itself a splendid reputation. 
This regiment returned to, and was present at, Indianapolis, on the 
30th of July, 1865, where a public reception was tendered to men 
and officers on the grounds of the Capitol. 

The 38th Regiment, under Col. Benjamin F. Scribner, was mus- 
tered in at New Albany, on the lSth of September, 1861, and 
in a few days were en route for the front. To follow its continual 
round of duty, is without the limits of this sketch; therefore, it 
will suffice to say, that on every well-fought field, at least from 
February, 1S62, until its dissolution, on the 15th of July, 1865, it 
earned an enviable renown, and drew from Gov. Morton, on return- 
ing to Indianapolis the 18th of the same month, a congratulatory 
address couched in the highest terms of praise. 

The 39th Regiment, or Eighth Cavalry, was mustered in as 
an infantry regiment, under Col. T. J. Harrison, on the 28th of 
August, 1861, at the State capital. Leaving immediately for the 
front it took a conspicuous part in all the engagements up to April, 
1863, when it was reorganized as a cavalry regiment. The record of 
this organization sparkles with great deeds which men will extol 
while language lives; its services to the Union cannot be over esti- 
mated, or the memory of its daring deeds be forgotten by the un- 
happy people who raised the tumult, which culminated in their 
second shame. 

The 40th Regiment, of Lafayette, under Col. W. C. Wilson, 
subsequently commanded by Col. J. W. Blake, and again by Col. 
Henry Learning, was organized on the 30th of December, 1861, and 


at once proceeded to the front,where some time was necessarily spent 
in the Camp of Instruction at Bardstown, Kentucky. In February, 
1862, it joined in Bnell's forward movement. During the war the 
regiment shared in all its hardships, participated in all its honors, 
and like many other brave commands took service under Gen. 
Sheridan in his Army of Occupation, holding the post of Port 
Lavaca, Texas, until peace brooded over the land. 

The 41st Regiment or Second Cavalry, the first complete regi- 
ment of horse ever raised in the State, was organized on the 3d of 
September, 1861, at Indianapolis, under Col. John A. Bridgland, 
and December 16 moved to the front. Its first war experience was 
gained en route to Corinth on the 9th of April, 1862, and at Pea 
Ridge on the loth. Gallatin, Yinegar Hill, and Perryville, and 
Talbot Station followed in succession, each battle bringing to the 
cavalry untold honors. In May, 1864, it entered upon a glorious 
career under Gen. Sherman in his Atlanta campaign, and again 
under Gen. Wilson in the raid through Alabama during April, 
1865. On the 22d of July, after a brilliant career, the regiment was 
mustered out at Nashville, and returned at once to Indianapolis for 

The 42d, under Col J. G. Jones, mustered into service at Evans- 
ville, October 9, 1861, and having participated in the principal 
military affairs of the period, Wartrace, Mission Ridge, Altoona, 
Kenesaw, Savannah, Charlestown and Bentonville, was discharged 
at Indianapolis on the 25th of July, 1865. 

The 43d Battalion was mustered in on the 27th of September, 
1861, under Col. George K. Steele, and left Terre Haute enroute to 
the front within a few days. Later it was aPied to Gen. Pope's 
corps, and afterwards served with Commodore Foote's marines in 
the reduction of Fort Pillow. It was the first Union regiment to 
enter Memphis. From that period until the close of the war it was 
distinguished for its unexcelled qualifications as a military body, 
and fully deserved the encomiums passed upon it on its return to 
Indianapolis in March, 1865. 

The 44th or the Regiment of the 10th Congressional District 
was organized at Fort Wayne on the 24th of October, 1861, under 
Col. Hugh B. Reed. Two months later it was ordered to the front, 
and arriving in Kentucky, was attached to Gen. Cruft's Brigade, 
then quartered at Calhoun. After years of faithful service it was 
mustered out at Chattanooga, the 14th of September, 1865. 

The 45th, or Third Cavalry, comprised ten companies 


organized at different periods and for varied services in 1861- 
'62, under Colonel Scott Carter and George H. Chapman. The 
distinguished name won by the Third Cavalry is established in 
every village within the State. Let it suffice to add that after its 
brilliant participation in Gen. Sheridan's raid down the James' 
river canal, it was mustered out at Indianapolis on the 7th of Au- 
gust, 1865. 

The 46th Regiment, organized at Logansport under Colonel 
Graham N. Fitch, arrived in Kentucky the 16th of February, 1862, 
and a little later became attached to Gen. Pope's army, then quar- 
tered at Commerce. The capture of Fort Pillow, and its career 
under Generals Curtis, Palmer, Hovey, Gorman, Grant, Sherman, 
Banks and Burbridge are as truly worthy of applause as ever fell to 
the lot of a regiment. The command was mustered out at Louis- 
ville on the 4th of September, 1865. 

The 47th was organized at Anderson, under Col. I. R. Slack, early 
in October, 1862. Arriving at Bardstown, Kentucky, on the 21st 
of December, it was attached to Gen. Buell's army; but within two 
months was assigned to Gen. Pope, under whom it proved the first 
regiment to enter Fort Thompson near New Madrid. In 1864 the 
command visited Indianapolis on veteran furlough and was enthu- 
siastically received by Governor Morton and the people. Return- 
ing to the front it engaged heartily in Gen. Banks' company. In 
December, Col. Slack received his commission as Brigadier-General, 
and was succeeded on the regimental command by Col. J. A. Mc- 
Laughton ; at Shreveport under General Heron it received the sub- 
mission of General Price and his army, and there also was it mus- 
tered out of service on the 23d of October, 1865. 

The 48th Regiment, organized at Goshen the 6th of December, 
1861, under Col. Norman Eddy, entered on its duties during the 
siege of Corinth in May, and again in October, 1862. The record 
of this battalion may be said to be unsurpassed in its every feature, 
so that the grand ovation extended to the returned soldiers in 
1865 at Indianapolis, is not a matter for surprise. 

The 49th Regiment, organized at Jeffersonville, under Col. J. W. 
Ray, and mustered in on the 21st of November, 1861, for service, 
left en route for the camp at Bardstown. A month later it arrived 
at the unfortunate camp-ground of Cumberland Ford, where dis- 
ease carried off a number of gallant soldiers. The regiment, how- 
ever, survived the dreadful scourge and won its laurels on many 


a well-fought field until September, 1865, when it was mustered out 
at Louisville. 

The 50ts Regiment, under Col. Cyrus L. Dunham, organized 
during the month of September, 1861, at Seymour, left en route to 
Bardstown for a coarse of military instruction. On the 20th of 
August, 1862, a detachment of the 50th, under Capt. Atkinson, was 
attacked by Morgan's Cavalry near Edgefield Junction ; but the 
gallant few repulsed their oft-repeated onsets and finally drove 
them from the field. The regiment underwent many changes in 
organization, and may be said to muster out on the 10th of Septem- 
ber, 1865. 

The 51st Regiment, under Col. Abel. D. Streight, left Indianap- 
olis on the 14th of December, 1861, for the South. After a short 
course of instruction at Bardstown, the regiment joined General 
Buell's and acted with great effect during the campaign in Ken- 
tucky and Tennessee. Ultimately it became a participator in the 
work of the Fourth Corps, or Army of Occupation, and held the post 
of San Antonio until peace was doubly assured. 

The 52d Regiment was partially raised at Rushville, and the 
organization completed at Indianapolis, where it was consolidated 
with the Railway Brigade, or 56th Regiment, on the 2d of Feb- 
ruary, 1862. Going to the front immediately after, it served with 
marked distinction throughout the war, and was mustered out at 
Montgomery on the 10th of September, 1865. Returning to Indian- 
apolis six days later, it was welcomed by Gov. Morton and a most 
enthusiastic reception accorded to it. 

The 53rd Battalion was raised at New Albany, and with the 
addition of recruits raised at Rockport formed a standard regi- 
ment, under command of Col. W. Q. Gresham. Its first duty was 
that of guarding the rebels confined on Camp Morton, but on 
going to the front it made for itself an endurable name. It was mus- 
tered out in July, 1865, and returned to Indiananoplis on the 25th 
of the same month. 

The 54th Regiment was raised at Indianapolis on the 10th of 
June, 1862, for three months' service under Col. D. G.Rose. The 
succeeding two months saw it in charge of the prisoners at Camp 
Morton, and in August it was pushed forward to aid in the defense 
of Kentucky against the Confederate General, Kirby Smith. The 
remainder of its short term of service was given to the cause. On the 
muster out of the three months' service regiment it was reorgan^ 


ized for one year's service and gained some distinction, after which 
it was mustered out in 1863 at New Orleans. 

The 55th Regiment, organized for three months' service, retains 
the brief history applicable to the first organization of the 54th. 
It was mustered in on the 16th of June, 1862, under Col. J. R. 
Mahon, disbanded on the expiration of its term and was not reor- 

The 56th Regiment, referred to in the sketch of the 52nd, was 
designed to be composed of railroad men, marshalled under J. M. 
Smith as Colonel, but owing to the fact that many railroaders had 
already volunteered into other regiments, Col. Smith's volunteers 
were incorporated with the 52nd, and this number left blank in the 
army list. 

The 57th Battalion, actually organized by two ministers of the 
gospel,— the Rev. I. W. T. McMullen and Rev. F. A. Hardin, of 
Richmond, Ind., mustered into service on the 18th of Novem- 
ber, 1861, under the former named reverend gentleman as Colonel, 
who was, however, succeeded by Col. Cyrus C. Haynes, and he in 
turn by G. W. Leonard, Willis Blanch and John S. McGrath, the 
latter holding command until the conclusion of the war. The 
history of this battalion is extensive, and if participation in a num- 
ber of battles with the display of rare gallantry wins fame, the 57th 
may rest assured of its possession of this fragile yet coveted prize. 
Like many other regiments it concluded its military labors in the 
service of General Sheridan, and held the post of Port Lavaca in 
conjunction with another regiment until peace dwelt in the land. 

The 58th Regiment, of Princeton, was organized there early in 
October, 1861, and was mustered into service under the Colonelcy 
of Henry M. Carr. In December it was ordered to join Gen- 
eral Buell's army, after which it took a share in the various 
actions of the war, and was mustered out on the 25th of July, 1865, 
at Louisville, having gained a place on the roll of honor. 

The 59th Battalion was raised under a commission issued by 
Gov. Morton to Jesse I. Alexander, creating him Colonel. Owing 
to the peculiarities hampering its organization, Col. Alexander could 
not succeed in having his regiment prepared to muster in before 
the 17th of February, 1862. However, on that day the equipment 
was complete, and on the 18th it left en route to Commerce, where 
on its arrival, it was incorporated under General Pope's command. 
The list of its casualties speaks a history, — no less than 793 men 
were lost during the campaign. The regiment, after a term char- 


acterized by distinguished service, was mustered out at Louisville 
on the 17th of July, 1865. 

The 60th Regiment was partially organized under Lieut .-Col. 
Richard Owen at Evansville during November 1861, and perfected 
at Camp Morton during March, 1862. Its first experience was its 
gallant resistance to Bragg's army investing Munfordsville, which 
culminated in the unconditional surrender of its first seven com- 
panies on the 14th of September. An exchange of prisoners took 
place in November, which enabled it to joine the remaining com- 
panies in the field. The subsequent record is excellent, and forms, 
as it were, a monument to their fidelity and heroism. The main 
portion of this battalion was mustered out at Indianapolis, on the 
21st of March, 1865. 

The 61st was partially organized in December, 1861, under Col. 
B. F. Mullen. The failure of thorough organization on the 22d of 
May, 1862, led the men and officers to agree to incorporation with 
the 35th Regiment of Volunteers. 

The 62d Battalion, raised under a commission issued to Wil- 
liam Jones, of Rockport, authorizing him to organize this regiment 
in the First Congressional District was so unsuccessful that consoli- 
dation with the 53d Regiment was resolved upon. 

The 63d Regimknt, of Covington, under James McManomy, 
Commandant ot Camp, and J. S. "Williams, Adjutant, was partially 
organized on the 31st of December, 1861, and may be considered 
on duty from its very formation. After guarding prisoners at 
Camp Morton and Lafayette, and engaging in battle on Manassas 
Plains on the 30th of August following, the few companies sent 
out in February, 1862, returned to Indianapolis to find six new 
companies raised under the call of July, 1862, ready to embrace 
the fortunes of the 63d. So strengthened, the regiment went forth 
to battle, and continued to lead in the paths of honor and fidelity 
until mustered out in May and June, 1865. 

The 64th Regiment failed in organization as an artillery corps; 
but orders received from the War Department prohibiting the con- 
solidation of independent batteries, put a stop to any further move 
in the matter. However, an infantry regiment bearing the same 
number was afterward organized. 

The 65th was mustered in at Princeton and Evansville, in July 
and August, 1862, under Col. J. W. Foster, and left at once en 
route for the front. The record of this battalion is creditable, not 
only to its members, but also to the State which claimed it. Its 


last action during the war was on the 18th and 20th of February, 
1865, at Fort Anderson and Town creek, after which, on the 22d 
June, it was disbanded at Greensboro. 

The 66th Regiment partially organized at New Albany, under 
Commandant Roger Martin, was ordered to leave for Kentucky on 
the 19th of August, 1862, for the defense of that State against the 
incursions of Kirby Smith. After a brilliant career it was mus- 
tered out at Washington on the 3d of June, 1865, after which it 
returned to Indianapolis to receive the thanks of a grateful people. 

The 67th Regiment was organized within the Third Congressional 
District under Col. Frank Emerson, and was ordered to Louisville 
on the 20th of August, 1862, whence it marched to Munfordville, 
only to share the same fate with the other gallaut regiments en- 
gaged against Gen. Bragg's advance. Its roll of honor extends 
down the years of civil disturbance, — always adding garlands, un- 
til Peace called a truce in the fascinating race after fame, and insured 
a term of rest, wherein its members could think on comrades forever 
vanished, and temper the sad thought with the sublime mem- 
ories born of that chivalrous fight for the maintenance and integri- 
ty of a great Republic. At Galveston on the 19th of July, 1865, the 
gallant 67th Regiment was mustered out, and returning within a 
few days to its State received the enthusiastic ovations of her citi- 

The 68th Regiment, organized at Greensburg under Major Ben- 
jamin C. Shaw, was accepted for general service the 19th of August, 
1862, under Col. .Edward A. King, with Major Shaw as Lieutenant 
Colonel; on the 25th its arrival at Lebanon was reported and with- 
in a few days it appeared at the defense of Munfordville; but shar- 
ing in the fate of all the defenders, it surrendered unconditionally to 
Gen. Bragg and did not participate further in the actions of that 
year, nor until after the exchange of prisoners in 1863. From this 
period it may lay claim to an enviable history extending to the end 
of the war, when it was disembodied. 

The 69th Regiment, of Richmond, Ind., under Col. A. Bickle, 
left for the front on the 20th ol August, 1862, and ten days later 
made a very brilliant 6tand at Richmond, Kentucky, against 
the advance of Gen. Kirby Smith, losing in the engagement two 
hundred and eighteen men and officers together with its liberty. 
After an exchange of prisoners the regiment was reorganized under 
Col. T. W. Bennett and took the field in December, 1862, under 


Generals Sheldon, Morgan and Sherman of Grant's army. Chick- 
asaw, Yicksburg, Blakely and many other names testify to the valor 
of the 69th. The remnant of the regiment was in January, 1865, 
formed into a battalion under Oran Perry, and was mustered out in 
July following. 

The 70th Regiment was organized at Indianapolis on the 12th of 
August, 1S62, under Col. B. Harrison, and leaving for Louisville on 
the 13th, shared in the honors of Bruce's division at Franklin 
and Russellville. The record of the regiment is brimful of honor. 
It was mustered out at Washington, June 8, 1865, and received at 
Indianapolis with public honors. 

The 71st or Sixth Cavalry was organized as an infantry regi- 
ment, at Terre Haute, and mustered into general service at Indian- 
apolis on the 18th of August, 1862, under Lieut. -Col. Melville D. 
Topping. Twelve days later it was engaged outside Richmond, 
Kentucky, losing two hundred and fifteen officers and men, includ- 
ing Col. Topping and Major Conklin, together with three hundred 
and forty-seven prisoners, only 225 escaping death and capture. 
After an exchange of prisoners the regiment was re-formed under 
Col. I. Bittle, but on the 28th of December it surrendered to Gen. 
J. H. Morgan, who attacked its position at Muldraugh's Hill with a 
force of 1,000 Confederates. Daring September and October, 1863, 
it was organized as a cavalry regiment, won distinction throughout 
its career, and was mustered out the 15th of September, 1865, at 

The 77th Regiment was organized at Lafayette, andleftenroTite 
to Lebanon, Kentucky, on the 17th of August, 1862. Under Col. 
Miller it won a series of honors, and mustered out at Nashville on 
the 26th of June, 1865. 

The 73rd Regiment, under Col. Gilbert Hathaway, was mustered 
in at South Bend on the 16th of August, 1862, and proceeded im- 
mediately to the front. Day's Gap, Crooked Creek, and the high 
eulogies of Generals Rosencrans and Granger speak its long and 
brilliant history, nor were the welcoming shouts of a great people 
and the congratulations of Gov. Morton, tendered to the regiment 
on its return home, in July, 1S65, necessary to sustain its well won 

The 74th Regiment, partially organized at Fort Wayne and made 
almost complete at Indianapolis, left for the seat of war on the 22d 
of August, 1862, under Col. Charles W. Chapman. The desperate 
opposition to Gen. Bragg, and the magnificent defeat of Morgan, 


together with the battles of Dallas, Chattahoochie river, Kenesaw 
and Atlanta, where Lieut. Col. Myron Baker was killed, all bear evi- 
dence of its never surpassed gallantry. It was mustered out of ser- 
vice on the 9th of June, 1865, at Washington. On the return of the 
regiment to Indianapolis, the war Governor and people tendered it 
special honors, and gave expression to the admiration and regard 
in which it was held. 

The 75th Regiment was organized within the Eleventh Congress- 
ional District, and left Wabash, on the 21st of August, 1862, for the 
front, under Col. I. W. Petit. It was the first regiment to enter 
Tullahoma, and one of the last engaged in the battles of the Repub- 
lic. After the submission of Gen. Johnson's army, it was mustered 
out at Washington, on the 8th of June 1865. 

The 76th Battalion was solely organized for thirty days' service 
under Colonel James Gavin, for the purpose of pursuing the rebel 
guerrilas, who plundered Newburg on the 13th July, 1862. It was 
organized and equipped within forty-eight hours, and during its 
term of service gained the name, " The Avengers of Newburg." 

The 77th, or Fourth Cavalry, was organized at the State capi- 
tal in August, 1862, under Colonel Isaac P. Gray. It carved its 
way to fame over twenty battlefields, and retired from service at 
Edgefield, on the 29th June, 1865. 

The 79th Regiment was mustered in at Indianapolis on the 2nd 
September, 1862, under Colonel Fred Knefler. Its history may be 
termed a record of battles, as the great numbers of battles, from 
1862 to the conclusion of hostilities, were participated in by it. 
The regiment received its discharge on the 11th June, 1865, at 
Indianapolis. During its continued round of field duty it captured 
eighteen guns and over one thousand prisoners. 

The 80th Regiment was organized within the First Congress- 
ional District under Col. C. Denby, and equipped at Indianapolis, 
when, on the 8th of September, 1862, it left for the front. During 
its term it lost only two prisoners; but its list of casualties sums 
up 325 men and officers killed and wounded. The regiment may 
be said to muster out on the 22nd of June, 1865, at Saulsbury. 

The 81st Regiment, of New Albany, under Colonel W. W. 
Caldwell, was organized on the 29th August, 1862, and proceeded 
at once to join TJuell's headquarters, and join in the pursuit of 
General Bragg. Throughout the terrific actions of the war its 
influence was felt, nor did its labors cease until it aided in driving 
the rebels across the Tennessee. It was disembodied at Nashville 


on the 13th June, 1865, and returned to Indianapolis on the 15th, 
to receive the well- merited congratulations of Governor Morton 
and the people. 

The 82nd Regiment, under Colonel Morton C. Hunter, was 
mustered in at Madison, Ind., on the 30th August, 1862, and 
leaving immediately for the seat of war, participated in many of 
the great battles down to the return of peace. It was mustered out 
at Washington on the 9th June, 1865, and soon returned to its 
State to receive a grand recognition of its faithful service. 

The 83rd Regiment, of Lawrenceburg, under Colonel Ben. J. 
Spooner, was organized in September, 1862, and soon left en route 
to the Mississippi. Its subsequent history, the fact of its being 
under fire for a total term of 4,800 hours, and its wanderings over 
6,285 miles, leave nothing to be said in its defense. Master of a 
thousand honors, it was mustered out at Louisville, on the 15th 
July, 1865, and returned home to enjoy a well-merited repose. 

The 84th Regiment was mustered in at Richmond, Ind., on the 
8th September, 1862, under Colonel Nelson Trusler. Its first 
military duty was on the defenses of Covington, in Kentucky, and 
Cincinnati; but after a short time its labors became more con- 
genial, and tended to the great disadvantage of the slaveholding 
enemy on many well-contested fields. This, like the other State 
regiments, won many distinctions, and retired from the service on 
the 14th of June, 1865, at Nashville. 

The 85th Regiment was mustered at Terre Haute, under Colonel 
John P. Bayard, on the 2d September, 1862. On the 4th March, 
1863, it shared in the unfortunate affair at Thompson's Station, 
when "in common with the other regiments forming Coburn's Bri- 
gade, it surrendered to the overpowering forces of the rebel 
General, Forrest. In June, 1863, after an exchange, it again took 
the field, and won a large portion of that renown accorded to 
Indiana. It was mustered out on the 12th of June, 1865. 

The 86th Regiment, of La Fayette, left for Kentucky on the 26th 
August, 1862, under Colonel OrvilleS. Hamilton, and shared in the 
duties assigned to the 84th. Its record is very creditable, particu- 
larly that portion dealing with the battles of Nashville on the 15th 
and 16th December, 1864. It was mustered out on the 6th of June, 
1865, and reported within a few days at Indianapolis for discharge. 

The 87th Regiment, organized at South Bend, under Colonels 
Kline G. Sherlock and H". Gleason, was accepted at Indianapolis 
on the 31st of August, 1862, and left on the same day en route to 


the front. From Springfield and Perryville on the 6th and 8th of 
October, 1862, to Mission Ridge, on the 25th of November, 1863, 
thence through the Atlanta campaign to the surrender of the South- 
ern armies, it upheld a gallant name, and met with a true and en- 
thusiastic welcome - home on the 21st of June, 1865, with a list of 
absent comrades aggregating 451. 

The 88th Regiment, organized within the Fourth Congressional 
District, under Col. Geo. Humphrey, entered the service on the 
29th of August, 1862, and presently was found among the front 
ranks in war. It passed through the campaign in brilliant form 
down to the time of Gen. Johnson's surrender to Gen. Grant, after 
which, on the 7th of June, 1865, it was mustered out at Washing. 

The 89th Regiment, formed from the material of the 
Eleventh Congressional District, was mustered in at Indianapolis, 
on the 28th of August, 1862, under Col. Chas. D. Murray, and 
after an exceedingly brilliant campaign was discharged by Gov. 
Morton on the 4th of August, 1865. 

The 90th Regiment, or Fifth Cavalry, was organized at 
Indianapolis under the Colonelcy of Felix W. Graham, between 
August and November, 1862. The different companies, joining 
headquarters at Louisville on the 11th of March, 1863, engaged in 
observing the movements of the enemy in the vicinity of Cumber- 
land river until the 19th of April, when a first and successful 
brush was had with the rebels. The regiment had been in 22 en- 
gagements during the term of service, captured 640 prisoners, and 
claimed a list of casualties mounting up to the number of 829. 
It was mustered out on the 16th of June, 1865, at Pulaski. 

The 91st Battalion, of seven companies, was mustered into 
service at Evansville, the 1st of October, 1862, under Lieut.-Colonel 
John Mehringer, and in ten days later left for the front. In 
1863 the regiment was completed, and thenceforth took a very 
prominent position in the prosecution of the war. During its ser- 
vice it lost 81 men, and retired from the field on the 26th of June, 

The 92d Regiment failed in organizing. 

The 93d Regiment was mustered in at Madison, Ind., on the 
20th of October, 1862, under Col. De Witt C. Thomas and Lieut.- 
Col. Geo. W. Carr. On the 9th of November it began a move- 
ment south, and ultimately allied itself to Buckland's Brigade of 


Gen. Sherman's. On the 14th of May it was among the first regi- 
ments to enter Jackson, the capital of Mississippi; was next pres- 
ent at the assault on Vicksburg, and made a stirring campaign 
down to the storming of Fort Blakely on the 9th of April, 1865. 
It was discharged on the 11th of August, that year, at Indianapo- 
lis, after receiving a public ovation. 

The 94th and 95th Regiments, authorized to be formed within 
the Fourth and Fifth Congressional Districts, respectively, were 
only partially organized, and so the few companies that could be 
mustered were incorporated with other regiments. 

The 96th Regiment could only bring together three companies, 
in the Sixth Congressional District, and these becoming incorpo- 
rated with the 99th then in process of formation at South Bend, the 
number was left blank. 

The 97th Regiment, raised in the Seventh Congressional Dis- 
trict, was mustered into service at Terre Haute, on the 20th of 
September, 1861, under Col. Robert F. Catterson. Reaching the 
front within a few days, it was assigned a position near Memphis, 
and subsequently joined in Gen. Grant's movement on Vicksburg, 
by overland route. After a succession of great exploits with the 
several armies to which it was attached, it completed its list of 
battles at Benton ville, on the 21st of March, 1865, and was dis- 
embodied at Washington on the 9th of June following. During its 
term of service the regiment lost 341 men, including the three 
Ensigns killed during the assaults on rebel positions along the 
Augusta Railway, from the 15th to the 27th of June, 1864. 

The 98th Regiment, authorized to be raised within the Eighth 
Congressional District, failed in its organization, and the number 
was left blank in the army list. The two companies answering to 
the call of July, 1862, were consolidated with the 100th Regiment 
then being organized at Fort Wayne. 

The 99th Battalion, recruited within the Ninth Congressional 
District, completed its muster on the 21st of October, 1862, under 
Col. Alex. Fawler, and reported for service a few days later at 
Memphis, where it was assigned to the 16th Army Corps. The va- 
ried vicissitudes through which this regiment passed and its remark- 
able gallantry upon all occasions, have gained for it a fair fame. 
It was disembodied on the 5th of June, 1865, at Washington, and 
returned to Indianapolis on the 11th of the same month. 

The 100th Regiment, recruited from the Eighth and Tenth 
Congressional Districts, under Col. Sandford J. Stoughton, mustered 


into the service on the 10th of September, left for the front on the 
11th of November, and became attached to the Army of Tennessee 
on the 26th of that month, 1862. The regiment participated in 
twenty-five battles, together with skirmishing during fully one-third 
of its term of service, and claimed a list of casualties mounting up 
to four hundred and sixty-four. It was mustered out of the ser- 
vice at Washington on the 9th of June, and reported at Indianapolis 
for discharge on the 14th of June, 1865. 

The 101st Regiment was mustered into service at Wabash on 
the 7th of September, 1862, under Col. William Garver, and pro- 
ceeded immediately to Covington, Kentucky. Its early experiences 
were gained in the pursuit ofBragg's army and John Morgan's 
cavalry, and these experiences tendered to render the regiment one 
of the most valuable in the war for the Republic. From the defeat 
of John Morgan at Milton on the 18th of March, 1863, to the fall 
of Savannah on the 23rd of September, 1863, the regiment won 
many honors, and retired from the service on the 25th of June, 
1865, at Indianapolis. 


The 102d Regiment, organized under Col. Benjamin M. Gregory 
from companies of the Indiana Legion, and numbering six hun- 
dred and twenty-three men and officers, left Indianapolis for the 
front early in July, and reported at North Yernon on the 12th of 
July, 1863, and having completed a round of duty, returned to In- 
dianapolis on the 17th to be discharged. 

• The 103d, comprising seven companies from Hendricks county, 
two from Marion and one from Wayne counties, numbering 681 
men and officers, under Col. Lawrence S. Shuler, was contemporary 
with the 102d Regiment, varying only in its service by being mus- 
tered out one day before, or on the 16th of July, 1863. 

The 104th Regiment of Minute Men was recruited from mem- 
bers of the Legion of Decatur, La Fayette, Madison, Marion and Rush 
counties. It comprised 714 men and officers under the command 
of Col. James Gavin, and was organized within forty hours after the 
issue of Governor Morton's call for minute men to protect Indiana 
and Kentucky against the raids of Gen. John H. Morgan's rebel 
forces. After Morgan's escape into Ohio the command returned 
and was mustered out on the 18th of July, 1863. 

The 105th Regiment consisted of seven companies of the Legion 
and three of Minute Men, furnished by Hancock, Union, Randolph 


Putnam, Wayne, Clinton and Madison counties. The command 
numbered seven hundred and thirteen men and officers, under Col. 
Sherlock, and took a leading part in the pursuit of Morgan. Re- 
turning on the 18th of July to Indianapolis it was mustered out. 

The 106th Regiment, under Col. Isaac P. Gray, consisted of 
one company of the Legion and nine companies of Minute Men, 
aggregating seven hundred and ninety-two men and officers. The 
counties of Wayne, Randolph, Hancock, Howard, and Marion were 
represented in its rank and file. Like the other regiments organized 
to repel Morgan, it was disembodied in July, 1863. 

The 107th Regiment, under Col. De Witt C. Rugg, was organ- 
ized in the city of Indianapolis from the companies' Legion, or 
Ward Guards. The successes of this promptly organized regiment 
were unquestioned. 

The 108th Regiment comprised five companies of Minute Men, 
from Tippecanoe county, two from Hancock, and one from each of 
the counties known as Carroll, Montgomery and Wayne, aggregat- 
ing 710 men and officers, and all under the command of Col. W. C. 
Wilson. After performing the only duties presented, it returned 
from Cincinnati on the 18th of July, and was mustered out. 

The 109th Regiment, composed of Minute Men from Coles 
county, 111., La Porte, Hamilton, Miami and Randolph counties, 
Ind., showed a roster of 709 officers and men, under Col. J. R. 
Mahon. Morgan having escaped from Ohio, its duties were at an 
end, and returning to Indianapolis was mustered out on the 17th 
of July, 1863, after seven days' service. 

. The 110th Regiment of Minute Men comprised volunteers from 
Henry, Madison, Delaware, Cass, and Monroe counties. The men 
were ready and willing, if not really anxious to go to the front. But 
happily the swift-winged Morgan was driven away, and conse- 
quently the regiment was not called to the field. 

The 111th Regiment, furnished by Montgomery, Lafayette, 
Rush, Miami, Monroe, Delaware and Hamilton counties, number- 
ing 733 men and officers, under Col. Robert Canover, was not 

The 112th Regiment was formed from nine companies of Min- 
ute Men, and the Mitchell Light Infantry Company of the Legion. 
Its strength was 703 men and officers, under Col. Hiram F. Brax- 
ton. Lawrence, Washington, Monroe and Orange counties were 
represented on its roster, and the historic names of North Yernon 
and Sun man's Station on its banner. Returning from the South 


after seven days' service, it was mustered out on the 17th of 
July, 1863. 

The 113th Regiment, furnished by Daviess, Martin, Washington, 
and Monroe counties, comprised 526 rank and file under Col. Geo. 
W. Burge. Like the 112th, it was assigned to Gen. Hughes' 
Brigade, and defended North Yernon against the repeated attacks 
of John H. Morgan's forces. 

The 114th Regiment was wholly organized in Johnson county, 
under Col. Lambertson, and participated in the affair of North 
Vernon. Returning on the 21st of July, 1863, with its brief but 
faithful record, it was disembodied at Indianapolis, 11 days after 
its organization. 

All these regiments were brought into existence to meet an 
emergency, and it must be confessed, that had not a sense of 
duty, military instinct and love of country animated these regi- 
ments, the rebel General, John H. Morton, and his £,000 cavalry ? 
would doubtless have carried destruction as far as the very capital 
of their State. 

six months' regiments. 

The 115th Regiment, organized at Indianapolis in answer to the 
call of the President in June, 1863, was mustered into service on 
the 17th of August, under Col. J. R. Mahon. Its service was short 
but brilliant, and received its discharge at Indianapolis the 10th 
of February, 1864. 

The 116th Regiment, mustered in on the 17th of August, 1863, 
moved to Detroit, Michigan, on the 30th, under Col. Charles Wise. 
During October it was ordered to Nicholasville, Kentucky, where it 
was assigned to Col. Mahon's Brigade, and with Gen. Willcox's 
entire command, joined in the forward movement to Cumberland 
Gap. After a term on severe duty it returned to Lafayette and 
there was disembodied on the 24th of February, 1864, whither Gov. 
Morton hastened, to share in the ceremonies of welcome. 

The 117th Regiment of Indianapolis was mustered into service 
on the 17th of September, 1863, under Col. Thomas J. Brady. 
After surmounting every obstacle opposed to it, it returned on the 
6th of February, 1864, and was treated to a public reception on 
the 9th. 

The 118th Regiment, whose organization was completed on the 
3d of September, 1863, under Col. Geo. W. Jackson, joined the 
116th at Nicholasville, and sharing in its fortunes, returned to the 


State capital on the 14th of February, 1864. Its casualties were 
comprised in a list of 15 killed and wounded. 

The 119th, or Seventh Cavalry, was recruited under Col. John 
P. C. Shanks, and its organization completed on the 1st of Octo- 
ber, 1863. The rank and file numbered 1,213, divided into twelve 
companies. On the 7th of December its arrival at Louisville was 
reported, and on the 14th it entered on active service. After the 
well-fought battle of Guntown, Mississippi, on the 10th of June, 
1864, although it only brought defeat to our arms, General Grier- 
son addressed the Seventh Cavalry, saying: " Your General con- 
gratulates you upon your noble conduct during the late expedition. 
Fighting against overwhelming numbers, under adverse circum- 
stances, your prompt obedience to orders and unflinching courage 
commanding the admiration of all, made even defeat almost a vic- 
tory. For hours on foot you repulsed the charges of the enemies' in- 
fantry, and again in the saddle you met his cavalry and turned his 
assaults into confusion. Your heroic perseverance saved hundreds 
of your fellow-soldiers from capture. You have been faithful to 
your honorable reputation, and have fully justified the confidence, 
and merited the high esteem of your commander." 

Early in 1865, a number of these troops, returning from impris- 
onment in Southern bastiles, were lost on the steamer " Sultana." 
The survivors of the campaign continued in the service for a long 
period after the restoration of peace, and finally mustered out. 

The 120th Regiment. In September, 1863, Gov. Morton re- 
ceived authority from the War Department to organize eleven regi- 
ments within the State for three years' service. By April, 1864, 
this organization was complete, and being transferred to the com- 
mand of Brigadier-General Alvin P. Hovey, were formed by him 
into a division for service with the Army of Tennessee. Of those 
regiments, the 120th occupied a very prominent place, both on ac- 
count of its numbers, its perfect discipline and high reputation. 
It was mustered in at Columbus, and was in all the great battles 
of the latter years of the war. It won high praise from friend 
and foe, and retired with its bright roll of honor, after the success 
of Right and Justice was accomplished. 

The 121st, ob Ninth Cavalry, was mustered in March 1, 1864, 
under Col. George W. Jackson, at Indianapolis, and though not 
numerically strong, was so well equipped and possessed such excel- 
lent material that on the 3rd of May it was ordered to the front. 
The record of the 121st, though extending over a brief period, is 


pregnant with deeds of war of a high character. On the 26th of 
April, 1865, these troops, while returning from their labors in the 
South', lost 55 men, owing to the explosion of the engines of the 
steamer " Sultana." The return of the 386 survivors, on the 5th of 
September, 1865, was hailed with joy, and proved how well and 
dearly the citizens of Indiana loved their soldiers. 

The 122d Regiment ordered to be raised in the Third Congres- 
sional District, owing to very few men being then at home, failed 
in organization, and the regimental number became a blank. 

The 123d Regiment was furnished by the Fourth and Seventh 
Congressional Districts during the winter of 1863-'64, and mus- 
tered, March 9, 1864, at Greensburg, under Col. John C. McQuis- 
tpn. The command left for the front the same day, and after win- 
ning rare distinction during the last years of the campaign, par- 
ticularly in its gallantry at Atlanta, and its daring movement to 
escape Forrest's 15,000 rebel horsemen near Franklin, this regi- 
ment was discharged on the 30th of August, 1865, at Indianapolis, 
being mustered out on the 25th, at Raleigh, North Carolina. 

The 124th Regiment completed its organization by assuming 
three companies raised for the 125th Regiment (which was intended 
to be cavalry), and was mustered in at Richmond, on the 10th of 
March, 1864, under Colonel James Burgess, and reported at Louis- 
ville within nine days. From Buzzard's Roost, on the 8th of May, 
1864, under General Schofield, Lost Mountain in June, and the 
capture of Decatur, on the 15th July, to the 21st March, 1865, in 
its grand advan.ce under General Sherman from Atlanta to the 
coast, the regiment won many laurel wreaths, and after a brilliant 
campaign, was mustered out at Greensboro on the 31st August, 

The 125th, or Tenth Cavalry, was partially organized during 
November and December, 1862, at Yincennes, and in February, 
1863, completed its numbers and equipment at Columbus, under 
Colonel T. M. Pace. Early in May its arrival in Nashville was 
reported, and presently assigned active service. During September 
and October it engaged rebel contingents under Forrest and Hood, 
and later in the battles of Nashville, Reynold's Hill and Sugar 
Creek, and in 1865 Flint River, Courtland and Mount Hope. The 
explosion of the Sultana occasioned the loss of thirty-five men with 
Captain Gaffney and Lieutenants Twigg and Reeves, and in a 
collision on the Nashville & Louisville railroad, May, 1864, lost 
five men killed and several wounded. After a term of service un- 


surpassed for its utility and character it was disembodied at Yicks- 
burg, Mississippi, on the 31st August, 1865, and returning to 
Indianapolis early in September, was welcomed by the Executive 
and people. 

The 126th, or Eleventh Cavalry, was organized at Indian- 
apolis under Colonel Robert R. Stewart, on the 1st of March, 1864, 
and left in May for Tennessee. It took a very conspicuous part in 
the defeat of Hood near Nashville, joining in the pursuit as far as 
Gravelly Springs, Alabama, where it was dismounted and assigned 
infantry duty. In June, 1865, it was remounted at St. Louis, and 
moved to Fort Riley, Kansas, and thence to Leavenworth, where it 
was mustered out on the 19th September, 1865. 

The 127th, or Twelfth Cavalry, was partially organized at 
Kendallville, in December, 1S63, and perfected at the same place, 
under Colonel Edward Anderson, in April, 1864. Reaching the 
front in May, it went into active service, took a prominent part in 
the march through Alabama and Georgia, and after a service bril- 
liant in all its parts, retired from the field, after discharge, on the 
22d of November, 1865. 

The 128th Regiment was raised in the Tenth Congressional Dis- 
trict of the period, and mustered at Michigan City, under Colonel 
R. P. De Hart, on the 18th March, 1864. On the 25th it was 
reported at the front, and assigned at once to Schofield's Division. 
The battles of Resaca, Dallas, New Hope Church, Lost Mountain, 
Kenesaw, Atlanta, Jonesboro, Dalton, Brentwood Hills, Nashville, 
and the six days' skirmish of Columbia, were all participated in by 
the 128th, and it continued in service long after the termination 
of hostilities, holding the post of Raleigh, North Carolina. 

The 129th Regiment was, like the former, mustered in at 
Michigan City about the same time, under Colonel Charles Case, 
and moving to the front on the 7th April, 1864, shared in the for- 
tunes of the 128th until August 29, 1865, when it was disembodied 
at Charlotte, Notrh Carolina. 

The 130th Regiment, mustered at Kokomo on the 12th March, 
1864, under Colonel C. S. Parrish, left en route to the seat of war 
on the 16th, and was assigned to the Second Brigade, First Division, 
Twenty-third Army Corps, at Nashville, on the 19th. During the 
war it made for itself a brilliant history, and returned to Indian- 
apolis with its well-won honors on the 13th Decern Der, 1865. 

The 131st, or Thirteenth Cavalry, under Colonel G. M L. 
Johnson, was the last mounted regiment recruited within the State. 


It left Indianapolis on the 30th of April, 1864, in infantry trim, 
and gained its first honors on the 1st of October in its magnificent 
defense of Huntsville, Alabama, against the rebel division of 
General Bnford, following a line of first-rate military conduct to 
the end. In January, 1865 ; the regiment was remounted, won 
some distinction in its modern form, and was mustered out at 
Vicksburg on the 18th of November, 1865. The morale and 
services of the regiment were such that its Colonel was promoted 
Brevet Brigadier-General in consideration of its merited honors. 


Governor Morton, in obedience to the offer made under his auspices 
to the general Government to raise volunteer regiments for one hun- 
dred days' service, issued his call on the 23rd of April, 1864. This 
movement suggested itself to the inventive genius of the war Gov- 
ernor as a most important step toward the subjection or annihila- 
tion of the military supporters of slavery within a year, and thus 
conclude a war, which, notwithstanding its holy claims to the name 
of Battles for Freedom, was becoming too protracted, and proving 
too detrimental to the best interests of the Union. In answer to 
the esteemed Governor's call eight regiments came forward, and 
formed The Grand Division of the Volunteers. 

The 132d Kegiment, under Col. S. C. Vance, was furnished by 
Indianapolis, Shelbyville, Franklin and Danville, and leaving on 
the 18th of May, 1864, reached the front where it joined the forces 
acting in Tennessee. 

The 133d Regiment, raised at Richmond on the 17th of May, 
1864, under Col. R. N. Hudson, comprised nine companies, and 
followed the 132d. 

The 134th Regiment, comprising seven companies, was organ- 
ized at Indianapolis on the 25th of May, 1864, under Col. James 
Gavin, and proceeded immediately to the front. 

The 135th Regiment was raised from the volunteers of Bedford, 
Koblesville and Goshen, with seven companies from the First Con- 
gressional District, under Col. W. C. "Wilson, on the 25th of May, 
1864, and left at once en route to the South. 

The 136th Regiment comprised ten companies, raised in the 
same districts as those contributing to the 135th, under CoL J. W. 
Foster, and left for Tennessee on the 24th of May, 1864. 

The 137th Regiment, under Col. E. J. Robinson, comprising 
volunteers from Kokomo, Zanesviile, Medora, Sullivan, Rockville. 


and Owen and Lawrence counties, left en route to Tennessee on the 
28th of May, 1864, having completed organization the day previous. 

The 138th Regiment was formed of seven companies from the 
Ninth, with three from the Eleventh Congressional District (un- 
reformed), and mustered in at Indianapolis on the 27th of May, 
1864, under Col. J. H. Shannon. This fine regiment was re- 
ported at the front within a few days. 

The 139th Regiment, under Col. Geo. Humphrey, was raised from 
volunteers furnished by Kendallville, Lawrenceburg, Elizaville, 
Knightstown, Connersville, Newcastle, Portland, Yevay, New 
Albany, Metamora, Columbia City, New Haven and New Phila- 
delphia. It was constituted a regiment on the 8th of June, 1864, 
and appeared among the defenders in Tennessee during that month. 

All these regiments gained distinction, and won an enviable po- 
sition in the glorious history of the war and the no less glorious 
one of their own State in its relation thereto. 


The 140th Regiment was organized with many others, in response 
to the call of the nation. Under its Colonel, Thomas J. Brady, it pro- 
ceeded to the South on the 15th of November, 1864. Having taken 
a most prominent part in all the desperate struggles, round Nash- 
ville and Murfreesboro in 1864, to Town Creek Bridge on the 20th 
of February, 1865, and completed a continuous round of severe duty 
to the end, arrived at Indianapolis for discharge on the 21st of July, 
where Governor Morton received it with marked, honors. 

The 14 1st Regiment was only partially raised, and its few com- 
panies were incorporated with Col Brady's command. 

The 142d Regiment was recruited at Fort "Wayne, under Col. I. 
M. Comparet, and was mustered into service at Indianapolis on the 
d of November, 1864. After a steady and exceedingly effective 
service, it returned to Indianapolis on the 16th of July, 1865. 


"Was answered by Indiana in the most material terms. No less 
than fourteen serviceable regiments were placed at the disposal of 
the General Government. 

The 143d Regiment was mustered in, under Col J. T. Grill, on 
the 21st February, 1865, reported at Nashville on the 24th, and af- 
ter a brief but brilliant service returned to the State on the 21st 
October, 1865. 


The 144th Regiment, under Col. G. W. Riddle, was mustered in 
on the 6th March, 1865, left on the 9th for Harper's Ferry, took an 
effective part in the close of the campaign and reported at Indian- 
apolis for discharge on the 9th August, 1865. 

The 145th Regiment, under Col. W. A. Adams, left Indianapolis 
on the 18th of February, 1865, and joining Gen. Steadman's division 
at Chattanooga on the 23d was sent on active service. Its duties 
were discharged with rare fidelity until mustered out in January, 

The 146th Regiment, under Col. M. C. Welsh, left Indianapolis 
on the llth of March en route to Harper's Ferry, where it was w>- 
signed to the army of the Shenandoah. The duties ot this regiment 
were severe and continuous, to the period of its muster out at Bal- 
timore on the 31st of August, 1865. 

The 147th Regiment, comprised among other volunteers from 
Benton, Lafayette and Henry counties, organized under Col. Milton 
Peden on the 13th of March, 1865, at Indianapolis. It shared a 
fortune similar to that of the 146th, and returned for discharge on 
the 9th of August, 1865. 

The 148th Regiment, under Col. N. R. Ruckle, left the State 
capital on the 28th of February, 1865, and reporting at Nashville, 
was sent on guard and garrison duty into the heart of Tennessee. 
Returning to Indianapolis on the 8th of September, it received a 
final discharge. 

The 149th Regiment was organized at Indianapolis by Col. W. 
H. Fairbanks, and left on the 3d of March, 1865, for Tennessee, 
where it had the. honor of receiving the surrender of the rebel 
forces, and military stores of Generals Roddy and Polk. The reg- 
iment was welcomed home by Morton on the 29th of September. 

The 150th Regiment, under Col. M. B. Taylor, mustered in on the 
9th of March, 1865, left for the South on the 13th and reported at 
Harper's Ferry on the 17th. This regiment did guard duty at 
Charleston, Winchester, Stevenson Station, Gordon's Springs, and 
after a service characterized by utility, returned on the 9th of 
August to Indianapolis for discharge. 

The 151st Regiment, under Col. J. Healy, arrived at Nashville on 
the 9th of March, 1865. On the 14th a movement on Tullahoma 
was undertaken, and three months later returned to Nashville for 
garrison duty to the close of the war. It was mustered out on the 
22d of September, 1865. 

The 152d Regiment was organized at Indianapolis, under Col. 


W. W Griswold, and left for Harper's Ferry on the 18th of March, 
1865. It was attached to the provisional divisions of Shenandoah 
Army, and engaged until the 1st of September, when it was dis- 
charged at Indianapolis. 

The 153d Regiment was organized at Indianapolis on the 1st of 
March, 1865, under Col. O. H. P. Carey. It reported at Louis- 
ville, and by order of Gen. Palmer, was held on service in Ken- 
tucky, where it was occupied in the exciting but very dangerous 
pastime of fighting Southern guerrillas. Later it was posted at 
Louisville, until mustered out on the 4th of September, 1865. 

The 154th Regiment, organized under Col. Frank Wilcox, left 
Indianapolis under Major Simpson, for Parkersburg, W. Virginia, 
on the 28th of April, 1865. It was assigned to guard and garrison 
duty until its discharge on the 4th of August, 1865. 

The 155th Regiment, recruited throughout the State, left on the 
26th of April for Washington, and was afterward assigned to a 
provisional Brigade of the Ninth Army Corps at Alexandria. The 
companies of this regiment were scattered over the country, — at 
Dover, Centreville, Wilmington, and Salisbury, but becoming re- 
united on the 4th of August, 1S65, it was mustered out at Dover, 

The 156th Battalion, under Lieut. -Colonel Charles M. Smith, 
left en route to the Shenandoah Valley on the 27th of April, 1865, 
where it continued doing guard duty to the period of its muster 
out the 4th of August, 1865, at Winchester, Virginia. 

On the return of these regiments to Indianapolis, Gov. Morton 
and the people received them with all that characteristic cordiality 
and enthusiasm peculiarly their own. 


The people of Crawford county, animated with that inspiriting 
patriotism which the war drew forth, organized this mounted com- 
pany on the 25th of July, 1863, and placed it at the disposal of 
the Government, and it was mustered into service by order of the 
War Secretary, on the 13th of August, 1863, under Captain L. 
Lamb. To the close of the year it engaged in the laudable pursuit 
of arresting deserters and enforcing the draft; however, on the 
18th of January, 1864, it was reconstituted and incorporated with 
the Thirteenth Cavalry, with which it continued to serve until the 
treason of Americans against America was conquered. 



The 28th Regiment of Colored Troops was recruited through- 
out the State of Indiana, and under Lieut.-Colonel Charles S. 
Russell, left Indianapolis for the front on the 24th of April, 1864. 
The regiment acted very well in its first engagement with the 
rebels at White House, Virginia, and again with Gen. Sheridan's 
Cavalry, in the swamps of the Chickahominy. In the battle of 
the "Crater," it lost half its roster; but their place was soon filled 
by other colored recruits from the State, and Russell promoted to 
the Colonelcy, and afterward to Brevet Brigadier-General, when he 
was succeeded in the command ( by Major Thomas H. Logan. 
During the few months of its active service it accumulated quite a 
history, and was ultimately discharged, on the 8th of January, 
1866, at Indianapolis. 

batteries of light artillery. 

First Battery, organized at Evansville, under Captain Martin 
Klauss, and mustered in on the 16th of August, 1861, joined Gen. 
Fremont's army immediately, and entering readily upon its salu- 
tary course, aided in the capture of 950 rebels and their position 
at Blackwater creek. On March the 6th, 1862 at Elkhorn Tavern, 
and on the 8th at Pea Ridge, the battery performed good service. 
Port Gibson, Champion Hill, Jackson, the Teche country, Sabine 
Cross Roads, Grand Encore, all tell of its efficacy. In 1864 it was 
subjected to reorganization, when Lawrence Jacoby was raised to 
the Captiancy, vice Klauss resigned. After a long term of useful 
service, it was mustered out at Indianapolis on the 18th of August, 

Second Battery was organized, under Captain D. G. Rabb, at 
Indianapolis on the 9th of August, 1861, and one month later pro- 
ceeded to the front. It participated in the campaign against Col. 
Coffee's irregular troops and the rebellious Indians of the Cherokee 
nation. From Lone Jack, Missouri, to Jenkin's Ferry and Fort 
Smith it won signal honors until its reorganization in 1864, and 
even after, to June, 1865, it maintained a very fair reputation. 

The Third Battery, under Capt. W. W. Frybarger, was organ- 
ized and mustered in at Connersville on the 24th of August, 1861, 
and proceeded immediately to join Fremont's Army of the Mis- 
souri. Moon's Mill, Kirksville, Meridian, Fort de Russy, Alex- 
andria, Round Lake, Tupelo, Clinton and Tallahatchie are names 


which may be engraven on its guns. It participated in the affaire 
before Nashville on the 15th and 16th of December, 1864, when 
General Hood's Army was put to route, and at Fort Blakely, out- 
side Mobile, after which it returned home to report for discharge, 
August 21, 1865. 

The Fourth Battery, recruited in La Porte, Porter and Lake 
counties, reported at the front early in October, 1861, and at once 
assumed a prominent place in the army of Gen. Buell. Again 
under Rosencrans and McCook and under General Sheridan at 
Stone River, the services of this battery were much praised, and it 
retained its well-earned reputation to the very day of its muster out 
— the 1st of August, 1865. Its first organization was completed 
under Capt. A. K. Bush, and reorganized in Oct., 1864, under Capt 
B. F. Johnson. 

The Fifth Battery was furnished by La Porte, Allen, Whitley 
and Noble counties, organized under Capt. Peter Simonson, and mus- 
tered into service on the 22d of November, 1861. It comprised 
four six pounders, two being rifled cannon, and two twelve-pounder 
Howitzers with a force of 158 men. Reporting at Camp Gil* 
bert, Louisville, on the 29th, it was shortly after assigned to the 
division of Gen. Mitchell, at Bacon Creek. During its term, it 
served in twenty battles and numerous petty actions, losing its Cap- 
tain at Pine Mountain. The total loss accruing to the battery was 
84 men and officers and four guns. It was mustered out on the 
20th of July, 1864. 

The Sixth Battery was recruited at Evansville, under Captain 
Frederick Behr, and left, on the 2d of Oct., 1861, for the front, 
reporting at Henderson, Kentucky, a few days after. Early in 
1862 it joined Gen. Sherman's army at Paducah, and participated 
in the battle of Shiloh, on the 6th of April. Its history grew in 
brilliancy until the era of peace insured a cessation of its great 

The Seventh Battery comprised volunteers from Terre Haute, 
Arcadia, Evansville, Salem, Lawrenceburg, Columbus, Vin- 
cennes and Indianapolis, under Samuel J. Harris as its first 
Captain, who was succeeded by G. R. Shallow and O. H. Mor- 
gan after its reorganization. From the siege of Corinth to the 
capture of Atlanta it performed vast services, and returned to 
Indianapolis on the 11th of July, 1865, to be received by the peo- 
ple and hear its history from the lips of the veteran patriot and 
Governor of the State. 


The Eighth Battery, under Captain G. T. Cochran, arrived at 
the front on the 26th of February, 1862, and subsequently entered 
upon its real duties at the siege of Corinth. It served with dis- 
tinction throughout, and concluded a well-made campaign under 
Will Stokes, who was appointed Captain of the companies with 
which it was consolidated in March, 1865. 

The Ninth Battery. The organization of this battery was 
perfected at Indianapolis, on the 1st of January, 1862, under Capt. 
!N. S. Thompson. Moving to the front it participated in the affairs 
of Shiloh, Corinth, Queen's Hill, Meridian, Fort Dick Taylor, Fort 
de Russy, Henderson's Hill, Pleasant Hill, Cotile Landing, Bayou 
Rapids, Mansura, Chicot, and many others, winning a name in 
each engagement. The explosion of the steamer Eclipse at Johnson- 
ville, above Paducah, on Jan. 27, 1865, resulted in the destruction of 
58 men, leaving only ten to represent the battery. The survivors 
reached Indianapolis on the 6th of March, and were mustered out. 

The Tenth Battery was recruited at Lafayette, and mustered in 
under Capt. Jerome B. Cox, in January, 1861. Having passed 
through the Kentucky campaign against Gen. Bragg, it partici- 
pated in many of the great engagements, and finally returned to 
report for discharge on the 6th of July, 1864, having, in the mean- 
time, won a very fair fame. 

The Eleventh Battery was organized at Lafayette, and mus- 
tered in at Indianapolis under Capt. Arnold Sutermeister, on the 
17th of December, 1861. On most of the principal battle-fields, 
from Shiloh, in 1862, to the capture of Atlanta, it maintained a high 
reputation for military excellence, and after consolidation with the 
Eighteenth, mustered out on the 7th of June, 1865. 

The Twelfth Battery was recruited at Jeffersonville and sub- 
sequently mustered in at Indianapolis. On the 6th of March, 1862, 
it reached Nashville, having been previously assigned to Buell's 
Army. In April its Captain, G. W. Sterling, resigned, and the 
position devolved on Capt. James E. White, who, in turn, was suc- 
ceeded by James A. Dun woody. The record of the battery holds 
a first place in the history of the period, and enabled both men and 
officers to look back with pride upon the battle-fields of the land. 
It was ordered home in June, 1865, and on reaching Indianapolis, 
on the 1st of July, was mustered out on the 7th of that month. 

The Thirteenth Battery was organized under Captain Sewell 
Coulson, during the winter of 1861, at Indianapolis, and proceeded 
to the front in February, 1862. During the subsequent months it 


was occupied iD the pursuit of John H. Morgan's raiders, and 
aided effectively in driving them from Kentucky. This artillery 
company returned from the South on the 4th of July, 1865, and 
were discharged the day following. 

The Fourteenth Battery, recruited in Wabash, Miami, Lafay- 
ette, and Huntington counties, under Captain M. H. Kidd, and 
Lieutenant J. W. H. McGuire, left Indianapolis on the 11th of 
April, 1862, and within a few months one portion of it was cap- 
tured at Lexington by Gen. Forrest's great cavalry command. The 
main battery lost two guns and two men at Guntown, on the Mis- 
sissippi, but proved more successful at Nashville and Mobile. It 
arrived home on the 29th of August, 1865, received a public wel- 
come, and its final discharge. 

The Fifteenth Battery, under Captain I. C. H. Von Sehlin, 
was retained on duty from the date of its organization, at Indian- 
apolis, until the 5th of July, 1862, when it was moved to Harper's 
Ferry. Two months later the gallant defense of Maryland Heights 
was set at naught by the rebel Stonewall Jackson, and the entire 
garrison surrendered. Being paroled, it was reorganized at Indian- 
apolis, and appeared again in the field in March, 1863, where it 
won a splendid renown on every well-fought field to the close of 
the war. It was mustered out on the 24th of June, 1865. 

The Sixteenth Battery was organized at Lafayette, under 
Capt. Charles A. Nay lor, and on the 1st of June, 1862, left for 
Washington. Moving to the front with Gen. Pope's command, it 
participated in the battle of Slaughter Mountain, on the 9th of 
August, and South Mountain, and Antietam, under Gen. McClel- 
lan. This battery was engaged in a large number of general en- 
gagements and flying column affairs, won a very favorable record, 
and returned on the 5th of July, 1865. 

The Seventeenth Battery, under Capt. Milton L. Miner, was 
mustered in at Indianapolis, on the 20th of May, 1862, left for the 
front on the 5th of July, and subsequently engaged in the Gettys- 
burg expedition, was present at Harper's Ferry, July 6, 1863, and 
at Opequan on the 19th of September. Fisher's Hill, New Mar- 
ket, and Cedar Creek brought it additional honors, and won from 
Gen. Sheridan a tribute of praise for its service on these battle 
grounds. Ordered from Winchester to Indianapolis it was mus- 
tered out there on the 3d of July, 1S65. 

The Eighteenth Battery, under Capt. Eli Lilly, left for the 


front in August, 1862, but did not take a leading part in the cam- 
paign until 1863, when, under Gen. Rosencrans, it appeared prom- 
inent at Hoover's Gap. From this period to the affairs of "West 
Point and Macon, it performed first-class service, and returned to 
its State on the 25th of June, 1S65. 

The Nineteenth Battery was mustered into service at Indian- 
apolis, on the 5th of August, 1862, under Capt. S. J. Harris, and 
proceeded immediately afterward to the front, where it participated 
in the campaign against Gen. Bragg. It was present at every post 
of danger to the end of the war, when, after the surrender of John- 
eon's army, it returned to Indianapolis. Reaching that city on 
the 6th of June, 1865, it was treated to a public reception and 
received the congratulations of Gov. Morton. Four days later it 
was discharged. 

The Twentieth Battery, organized under Capt. Frank A. Rose, 
left the State capital on the 17th of December, 1862, for the front, 
and reported immediately at Henderson, Kentucky. Subsequently 
Captain Rose resigned,, and, in 1863, under Capt. Osborn, turned 
over its guns to the 11th Indiana Battery, and was assigned to the 
charge of siege guns at Nashville. Gov. Morton had the battery 
supplied with new field pieces, and by the 5th of October, 1863, it 
was again in the field, where it won many honors under Sherman, 
and continued to exercise a great influence until its return on the 
23d of June, 1865. 

The Twenty-first Battery recruited at Indianapolis, under the 
direction of Captain W. W. Andrew, left on the 9th of September, 
1862, for Covington, Kentucky, to aid in its defense against the 
advancing forces of Gen. Kirby Smith. It was engaged in numerous 
military affairs and may be said to acquire many honors, although 
its record is stained with the names of seven deserters. The battery 
was discharged on the 21st of June, 1865. 

The Twenty-second Battery was mustered in at Indianapolis 
on the 15th of December, 1862, under Capt. B. F. Denning, and 
moved at once to the front. It took a very conspicuous part in the 
pursuit of Morgan's Cavalry, and in many other affairs. It threw 
the first shot into Atlanta, and lost its Captain, who was killed in 
the skirmish line, on the 1st of July. While the list of casualties 
numbers only 35, that of desertions numbers 37. This battery was 
received with public honors on its return, the 25th of June, 1865, 
and mustered out on the 7th of the same month. 


The Twenty-third Battery, recruited in October 1862, and 
mustered in on the 8th of November, under Capt. I. H. Myers, pro- 
ceeded south, after having rendered very efficient services at home 
in guarding the camps of rebel prisoners. In July, 1865, the battery 
took an active part, under General Boyle's command, in routing 
and capturing the raiders at Brandenburgh, and subsequently to 
the close of the war performed very brilliant exploits, reaching 
Indianapolis in June, 1865. It was discharged on the 27th of that 

The Twenty-fourth Battery, under Capt. I. A. Simms, was 
enrolled for service on the 29th of November, 1862; remained 
at Indianapolis on duty until the 13th of March, 1863, when 
it left for the field. From its participation in the Cumberland 
River campaign, to its last engagement at Columbia, Tennessee, it 
aided materially in bringing victory to the Union ranks and made 
for itself a widespread fame. Arriving at Indianapolis on the 2Sth 
of July, it was publicly received, and in five days later disembodied. 

The Twenty-fifth Battery was recruited in September and Oc- 
tober, 1864, and mustered into service for one year, under Capt. 
Frederick C. Sturm. December 13th, it reported at Nashville, and 
took a prominent part in the defeat of Gen. Hood's army. Its 
duties until July, 1865, were continuous, when it returned to 
report for final discharge. 

The Twenty-sixth Battery, or "Wilder's Battery," was re- 
cruited under Capt. I. T. Wilder, of Greensburg, in May, 1861; but 
was not mustered in as an artillery company. Incorporating itself 
with a regiment then forming at Indianapolis it was mustered as 
company "A," of the 17th Infantry, with Wilder as Lieutenant- 
Colonel of the regiment. Subsequently, at Elk Water, Virginia, 
it was converted into the "First Independent Battery," and became 
known as " Rigby's Battery." The record of this battery is as 
brilliant as any won during the war. On every field it has won a 
distinct reputation; it was well worthy the enthusiastic reception 
given to it on its return to Indianapolis on the 11th and 12th of 
July, 1865. During its term of service it was subject to many 
transmutations; but in every phase of its brief history, areputation 
for gallantry and patriotism was maintained which now forms a 
living testimonial to its services to the public. 

The total number of battles in the " War of the Rebellion " in 
which the patriotic citizens of the great and noble State of Indiana 
were more or less engaged, was as follows: 


Locality. No. of Battles. Locality. No of Battles. 

Virginia 90 Maryland 7 

Tennessee 51 Texas 3 

Georgia 41 South Carolina 2 

Mississippi 24 Indian Territory 2 

Arkansas 19 Pennsylvania 1 

Kentucky 16 Ohio , 1 

Louisana 15 Indiana 1 

Missouri 9 

North Carolina 8 Total 308 

The regiments sent forth to the defense of the Republic in the 
hour of its greatest peril, when a host of her own sons, blinded by 
some unholy infatuation, leaped to arms that they might trample 
upon the liberty-giving principles of the nation, have been passed 
in very brief review. The authorities chosen for the dates, names, 
and figures are the records of the State, and the main subject is 
based upon the actions of those 267,000 gallant men of Indiana 
who rushed to arms in defense of all for which their fathers bled, 
leaving their wives and children and homes in the guardianship of 
a truly paternal Government. 

The relation of Indiana to the Republic was then established ; 
for when the population of the State, at the time her sons went 
forth to participate in war for the maintenance of the Union, is 
brought into comparison with all other States and countries, it will 
be apparent that the sacrifices made by Indiana from 1861-'65 
equal, if not actually exceed, the noblest of those recorded in the 
history of ancient or modern times. 

Unprepared for the terrible inundation of modern wickedness, 
which threatened to deluge the country in a sea of blood and rob, 
a people of their richest, their most prized inheritance, the State 
rose above all precedent, and under the benign influence of patriot- 
ism, guided by the well-directed zeal of a wise Governor and 
Government, sent into the field an army that in numbers was 
gigantic, and in moral and physical excellence never equaled 

It is laid down in the official reports, furnished to the War De- 
partment, that over 200,000 troops were specially organized to aid 
in crushing the legions of the slave-holder; that no less than 50,000 
militia were armed to defend the State, and that the large, but abso- 
lutely necessary number of commissions issued was 17,114. All 
this proves the scientific skill and military economy exercised by 
the Governor, and brought to the aid of the people in a most terri- 
ble emergency; for he, with some prophetic sense of the gravity of 
the situation, saw that unless the greatest powers of the Union 
were put forth to crush the least justifiable and most pernicious 


of all rebellions holding a place in the record of nations, the best 
blood of the country would flow in a vain attempt to avert a catas- 
trophe which, if prolonged for many years, would result in at least 
the moral and commercial ruin of the country. 

The part which Indiana took in the war against the Rebellion is 
one of which the citizens of the State may well be proud. In the 
number of troops furnished, and in the amount of voluntary con- 
tributions rendered, Indiana, in proportion and wealth, stands 
equal to any of her sister States. " It is also a subject of gratitude 
and thankfulness," said Gov. Morton, in his message to the Legis- 
lature, " that, while the number of troops furnished by Indiana 
alone in this great contest would have done credit to a first-class 
nation, measured by the standard of previous wars, not a single 
battery or battalion from this State has brought reproach upon the 
national flag, and no disaster of the war can be traced to any want 
of fidelity, courage or efficiency on the part of any Indiana officer. 
The endurance, heroism, intelligence and skill of the officers and 
soldiers sent forth by Indiana to do battle for the Union, have shed 
a luster on our beloved State, of which any people might justly be 
proud. "Without claiming superiority over our loyal sister States, 
it is but justice to the brave men who have represented us on 
almost every battle-field of the war, to say that their deeds have 
placed Indiana in the front rank of those heroic States which 
rushed to the rescue ef the imperiled Government of the nation. 
The total number of troops furnished by the State for all terms of 
service exceeds 200,000 men, much the greater portion of them 
being for three years; and in addition thereto not less than 50,000 
State militia have from time to time been called into active service 
to repel rebel raids and defend our southern border from inva- 


In 1867 the Legislature comprised 91 Republicans and 59 Dem- 
ocrats. Soon after the commencement of the session, Gov. Morton 
resigned his office in consequence of having been elected to the U. 
S. Senate, and Lieut.-Gov. Conrad Baker assumed the Executive 
chair during the remainder of Morton's term. This Legislature, 
by a very decisive vote, ratified the 14th amendment to the Federal 
Constitution, constituting all persons born in the country or sub- 
ject to its jurisdiction, citizens of the United States and of the 
State wherein they reside, without regard to race or color; reduc- 


ing the Congressional representation in any State in which there 
should be a restriction of the exercise of the elective franchise on 
account of race or color; disfranchising persons therein named 
who shall have engaged in insurrection or rebellion against the 
United States; and declaring that the validity of the public debt 
of the United States authorized by law, shall not be questioned. 

This Legislature also passed an act providing for the registry of 
votes, the punishment of fraudulent practices at elections, and for 
the apportionment and compensation of a Board of Registration; 
this Board to consist, in each township, of two freeholders appointed 
by the County Commissioners, together with the trustee of such 
township; in cities the freeholders are to be appointed in each 
ward by the city council. The measures of this law are very strict, 
and are faithfully executed. No cries of fraud in elections are 
heard in connection with Indiana. 

This Legislature also divided the State into eleven Congressional 
Districts and apportioned their representation; enacted a law for 
the protection and indemnity of all officers and soldiers of the 
Tnited States and soldiers of the Indiana Legion, for acts done in 
*!nj military service of the United States, and in the military ser- 
. ice of the State, and in enforcing the laws and preserving the 
; .eace of the country; made definite appropriations to the several 
benevolent institutions of the State, and adopted several measures 
for the encouragement of education, etc. 

In 1868, Indiana was the first in the field of national politics, 
both the principal parties holding State conventions early in the 
year. The Democrats nominated T. A. Hendricks for Governor, 
and denounced in their platform the reconstruction policy of the 
Republicans; recommended that United States treasury notes be 
substituted for national bank currency; denied that the General 
Government had a right to interfere with the question of suffrage 
in any of the States, and opposed negro suffrage, etc. ; while the 
Republicans nominated Conrad Baker for Governor, defended its 
reconstruction policy, opposed a further contraction of the currency, 
etc. The campaign was an exciting one, and Mr. Baker was 
elected Governor by a majority of only 961. In the Presidential 
election that soon followed the State gave Grant 9,572 more than 

During 1868 Indiana presented claims to the Government for 
about three and a half millions dollars for expenses incurred in the 
war, and $1,958,917.94 was allowed. Also, this year, a legislative 


commission reported that $413,599.48 were allowed to parties suf- 
fering loss by the Morgan raid. 

This year Governor Baker obtained a site for the House of 
Refuge. (See a subsequent page.) The Soldiers' and Seamen's 
Home, near Knightstown, originally established by private enter- 
prise and benevolence, and adopted by the Legislature of the 
previous year, was in a good condition. Up to that date the insti- 
tution had afforded relief and temporary subsistence to 400 men 
who had been disabled in the war. A substantial brick building 
had been built for the home, while the old buildings were used for 
an orphans' department, in which were gathered 86 children of 
deceased soldiers. 


By some mistake or liberal design, the early statute laws of 
Indiana on the subject of divorce were rather more loose than those 
of most other States in this Union; and this subject had been a 
matter of so much jest among the public, that in 1870 the Governor 
recommended to the Legislature a reform in this direction, which 
was pretty effectually carried out. Since that time divorces can 
be granted only for the following causes: 1. Adultery. 2. Impo- 
tency existing at the time of marriage. 3. Abandonment for two 
years. 4. Cruel and inhuman treatment of one party by the other. 
5. Habitual drunkenness of either party, or the failure of the hus- 
band to make reasonable provision for the family. 6 The failure 
of the husband to make reasonable provision for the family for ft 
period of two years. 7. The conviction of either party of an infamous 


Were it not for political government the pioneers would have got 
along without money much longer than they did. The pressure of 
governmental needs was somewhat in advance of the monetary 
income of the first settlers, and the little taxation required to carry 
on the government seemed great and even oppressive, especially at 
certain periods. 

In November, 1821, Gov. Jennings convened the Legislature in 
extra session to provide for the payment of interest on the State 
debt and a part of the principal, amounting to $20,000. It was 
thought that a sufficient amount would be realized in the notes of 
the State bank and its branches, although they were considerably 
depreciated Said the Governor: "It will be oppressive if the 
State, after the paper of this institution (State bank) was author- 
ized to be circulated in revenue, should be prevented by any assign^ 
ment of the evidences of existing debt, from discharging at least 
so much of that debt with the paper of the bank as will absorb the 
collections of the present year; especially when their notes, after 
being made receivable by the agents of the State, became greatly 
depreciated by great mismanagement on the part of the bank 
itself. It ought not to be expected that a public loss to the State 
should be avoided by resorting to any measure3 which would not 
comport with correct views of public justice; nor should it be 
anticipated that the treasury of the United States would ultimately 
adopt measures to secure an uncertain debt which would inter- 
fere with arrangements calculated to adjust the demand against the 
State without producing any additional embarrassment." 

The state of the public debt was indeed embarrassing, as the 

bonds which had been executed in its behalf had been assigned. 

The exciting cause of this proceeding consisted in the machinations 

of unprincipled speculators. Whatever disposition the principal 

bank may have made of the funds deposited by the United States, 

the connection of interest between the steam-mill company and the 

bank, and the extraordinary accommodations, as well as their amount, 

effected by arrangements of the steam-mill agency and some of 

the officers of the bank, were among the principal causes which 



had prostrated the paper circulating medium of the State, so far as it 
was dependent on the State bank and its branches. An abnormal 
state of affairs like this very naturally produced a blind disburse- 
ment of the fund to some extent, and this disbursement would be 
called by almost every one an u unwise administration." 

During the first 16 years of this century, the belligerent condi- 
tion of Europe called for agricultural supplies from America, and 
the consequent high price of grain justified even the remote pio- 
neers of Indiana in undertaking the tedious transportation of the 
products of the soil which the times forced upon them. The large 
disbursements made by the general Government among the peo- 
ple naturally engendered a rage for speculation; numerous banks 
with fictitious capital were established; immense issues of paper 
were made; and the circulating medium of the country was in- 
creased fourfold in the course of two or three years. This infla- 
tion produced the consequences which always follow such a scheme, 
namely, unfounded visions of wealth and splendor and the wild 
investments which result in ruin to the many and wealth to the 
few. The year 1S21 was consequently one of great financial panic, 
and was the first experienced by the early settlers of the West. 

In 1822 the new Governor, William Hendricks, took a hopeful 
view of the situation, referring particularly to the "agricultural 
and social happiness of the State." The crops were abundant this 
year, immigration was setting in heavily and everything seemed to 
have an upward look. But the customs of the white race still com- 
pelling them to patronize European industries, combined with the 
remoteness oi the surplus produce of Indiana from European mar- 
kets, constituted a serious drawback to the accumulation of wealth. 
Such a state of things naturally changed the habits of the people 
to some extent, at least for a short time, assimilating them to those 
of more primitive tribes. This change of custom, however, was 
not severe and protracted enough to change the intelligent and 
social nature of the people, and they arose to their normal height 
on the very first opportunity. 

In 1822-'3, before speculation started up again, the surplus 
money was invested mainly in domestic manufactories instead of 
other and wilder commercial enterprises. Home manufactories 
were what the people needed to make them more independent. 
They not only gave employment to thousands whose services were 
before that valueless, but also created a market for a great portion 


of the surplus produce of the farmers. A part of the surplus cap- 
ital, however, was also sunk in internal improvements, some of 
which were unsuccessful for a time, but eventually proved remu- 

Noah Noble occupied the Executive chair of the State from 1831 
to 1837, commencing his duties amid peculiar embarrassments. 
The crops of 1832 were short, Asiatic cholera came sweeping along 
the Ohio and into the interior of the State, and the Black Hawk war 
raged in the Northwest, — all these at once, and yet the work of 
internal improvements was actually begun. 


The State bank of Indiana was established by law January 28, 
1834. The act of the Legislature, by its own terms, ceased to be a 
law, January 1, 1857. At the time of its organization in 1834, its 
outstanding circulation was $4,208,725, with a debt due to the insti- 
tution, principally from citizens of the State, of $6,095,368. During 
the years 1857-'58 the bank redeemed nearly its entire circulation, 
providing for the redemption of all outstanding obligations; at this 
time it had collected from most of its debtors the money which they 
owed. The amounts of the State's interest in the stock of the bank 
was $1,390,000, and the money thus invested was procured by the 
issue of five per cent bonds, the last of which was payable July 1, 1866. 
The nominal profits of the bank were $2,780,604.36. By the law 
creating the sinking fund, that fund was appropriated, first, to pay 
the principal aild interest on the bonds; secondly, the expenses of 
the Commissioners; and lastly the cause of common-school educa- 

The stock in all the branches authorized was subscribed by indi- 
viduals, and the installment paid as required by the charter. The 
loan authorized for the payment on the stock allotted to the State, 
amounting to $500,000, was obtained at a premium of 1.05 per 
per cent, on five per cent, stock, making the sum of over $5,000 on 
the amount borrowed. In 1836 we find that the State bank was 
doing good service; agricultural products were abundant, and the 
market was good; consequently the people were in the full enjoy- 
ment of all the blessings of a free government. 

By the year 1843 the State was experiencing the disasters and 
embarassment consequent upon a system of over-banking, and its 
natural progeny, over-trading and deceptive speculation. Such a 
state of things tends to relax the hand of industry by creating false 


notions of wealth, and tempt to sudden acquisitions by means as delu- 
sive in their results as they are contrary to a primary law of nature. 
The people began more than ever to see the necessity of falling 
back upon that branch of industry for which Indiana, especially 
at that time, was particularly fitted, namely, agriculture, as the 
true and lasting source of substantial wealth. 

Gov. Whitcomb, 1843- '49, succeeded well in maintaining the 
credit of the State. Measures of compromise between the State 
and its creditors were adopted by which, ultimately, the public 
works, although incomplete, were given in payment for the claims 
against the Government. 

At the close of his term, Gov. Whitcomb was elected to the 
Senate of the United States, and from December, 1848, to Decem- 
ber, 1849, Lieut-Gov. Paris C. Dunning was acting Governor. 

In 1851 a general banking law was adopted which gave a new 
impetus to the commerce of the State, and opened the way for a 
broader volume of general trade; but this law was the source of 
many abuses; currency was expanded, a delusive idea of wealth 
again prevailed, and as a consequence, a great deal of damaging 
speculation was indulged in. 

In 1857 the charter of the State bank expired, and the large 
gains to the State in that institution were directed to the promotion 
of common-school education. 


During the war of the Rebellion the financial condition of the 
people was of course like that of the other Northern States generally. 
1870 found the State in a very prosperous condition. October 31 
of this year, the date of the fiscal report, there was a surplus of 
$373,249 in the treasury. The receipts of the year amounted to 
$3,605,639, and the disbursements to $2,943,600, leaving a balance 
of $1,035,288. The total debt of the State in November, 1871, was 

At the present time the principal articles of export from the State 
are flour and pork. Nearly all the wheat raised within the State 
is manufactured into flour within its limits, especially in the north- 
ern part. The pork business is the leading one in the southern 
part of the State. 

When we take into consideration the vast extent of railroad lines 
in this State, in connection with the agricultural and mineral 
resources, both developed and undeveloped, as already noted, we can 


see what a substantial foundation exists for the future welfare of 
this great commonwealth. Almost every portion of the State is 
coming up equally. The disposition to monopolize does not exist 
to a greater degree than is desirable or necessary for healthy compe- 
tition. Speculators in flour, pork and other commodities appeared 
during the war, but generally came to ruin at their own game. 
The agricultural community here is an independent one, under- 
standing its rights, and " knowing them will maintain them." 

Indiana is more a manufacturing State, also, than many imagine. 
It probably has the greatest wagon and carriage manufactory in the 
world. In 1875 the total number of manufacturing establishments 
in this State was 16,812; number of steam engines, 3,6S4, with a 
total horse-power of 114,961; the total horse-power of water wheels, 
38,614; number of hands employed in the manufactories, 86,402; 
capital employed, is $117,462,161; wages paid, $35,461,987; cost of 
material,- $104,321,632; value of products, $301,304,271. These 
figures are on an average about twice what they were only live years 
previously, at which time they were about double what they were 
ten years before that. In manufacturing enterprise, it is said that 
Indiana, in proportion to her population, is considerably in advance 
of Illinois and Michigan. 

In 1870 the assessed valuation of the real estate in Indiana was 
$460,120,974; of personal estate, $203,334,070; true valuation of 
both, $1,268,180,543. According to the evidences of increase at 
that time, the value of taxable property in this State must be double 
the foregoing figures. This is utterly astonishing, especially when 
we consider what a large matter it is to double the elements of a 
large and wealthy State, compared with its increase in infancy. 

The taxation for State purposes in 1870 amounted to $2,943,078; 
for county purposes, $4,654,476; and for municipal purposes, 
$3,193,577. The total county debt of Indiana in 1870 was $1,127,- 
269, and the total debt of towns, cities, etc., was $2,523,934. 

In the compilation of this statistical matter we have before us the 
statistics of every element of progress in Indiana, in the U. S. 
Census Reports; but as it would be really improper for us further 
to burden these pages with tables or columns of large numbers, we 
will conclude by remarking that if any one wishes further details in 
these matters, he can readily find them in the Census Reports of 
the Government in any city or village in the country. Besides, 
almost any one can obtain, free of charge, from his representative in 


Congress, all these and other public documents in which he may be 


This subject began to be agitated as early as 1818, during the 
administration of Governor Jennings, who, as well as all the 
Governors succeeding him to 1843, made it a special point in their 
messages to the Legislature to urge the adoption of measures for 
the construction of highways and canals and the improvement of 
the navigation of rivers. Gov. Hendricks in 1822 specified as the 
most important improvement the navigation of the Falls of the 
Ohio, the Wabash and White rivers, and other streams, and the 
construction of the National and other roads through the State. 

In 1826 Governor Ray considered the construction of roads and 
canals as a necessity to place the State on an equal financial footing 
with the older States East, and in 1S29 he added: "Tifis subject 
can never grow irksome, since it must be the source of the bless-' 
ings of civilized life. To secure its benefits is a duty enjoined upon 
the Legislature by the obligations of the social compact." 

In 1830 the people became much excited over the project of con- 
necting the streams of the country by " The National New York 
& Mississippi railroad." The National road and the Michigan 
and Ohio turnpike were enterprises in which the people and Legib- 
lature of Indiana were interested. The latter had already been the 
cause of much bitter controversy, aud its location was then the 
subject of contention. 

In 1832 the work of internal improvements fairly commenced, 
despite the partial failure of the crops, the Black Llawk war and 
the Asiatic cholera. Several war parties invaded the Western 
settlements, exciting great alarm and some suffering. This year 
the canal commissioners completed the task assigned them and had 
negotiated the canal bonds in New York city, to the amount of 
$100,000, at a premium of 13^- per cent, on terms honorable to the 
State and advantageous to the work. Before the close of tnis year 
$54,000 were spent for the improvement of the Michigan road, and 
$52,000 were realized from the sale of lands appropriated for its 
construction. In 1832, 32 miles of the Wabash and Erie canal was 
placed under contract and work commenced. A communication 
was addressed to the Governor of Ohio, i questing him to call the 
attention of the Legislature of that State to the subject of the 
extension of the canal from the Indiana line through Ohio to the 


Lake. In compliance with this request, Governor Lucas promptly 
laid the subject before the Legislature of the State, and, in a spirit 
of courtesy, resolutions were adopted by that body, stipulating that 
if Ohio should ultimately decline to undertake the completion of 
that portion of the work within her limits before the time fixed by 
the act of Congress for the completion of the canal, she would, on 
just and equitable terms, enable Indiana to avail herself of the bene- 
fit of the lands granted, by authorizing her to sell them and invest 
the proceeds in the stock of a company to be incorporated by Ohio; 
and that she would give Indiana notice of her final determination 
on or before January 1, 1838. The Legislature of Ohio also 
authorized and invited the agent of the State of Indiana to select, 
survey and set apart the lands lying within that State. In keeping 
with this policy Governor Noble, in 1834, said: "With a view of 
engaging in works of internal improvement, the propriety of 
adopting a general plan or system, having reference to the several 
portions of the State, and the connection of one with the other> 
naturally suggests itself. No work should be commenced but such 
as would be of acknowledged public utility, and when completed 
would form a branch of some general system. In view of this 
object, the policy of organizing a Board of Public Works is again 
respectfully suggested." The Governor also called favorable atten- 
tion to the Lawrenceburg & Indianapolis railway, for which a 
charter had been granted. 

In 1835 the Wabash & Erie canal was pushed rapidly forward. 
The middle division, extending from the St. Joseph dam to the 
forks of the Wabash, about 32 miles, was completed, for about 
$232,000, including all repairs. Upon this portion of the line nav- 
igation was opened on July 4, which day the citizens assembled 
*' to witness the mingling of the waters of the St. Joseph with 
those of the Wabash, uniting the waters of the northern chain of 
lakes with those of the Gulf of Mexico in the South." On other 
parts of the line the work progressed with speed, and the sale of 
canal lands was unusually active 

In 1836 the first meeting of the State Board of Internal Im- 
provement was convened and entered upon the discharge of its 
numerous and responsible duties. Having assigned to each mem- 
ber the direction and superintendence of a pfortion of the work, 
the next duty to be performed preparatory to the various spheres of 
active service, was that of procuring the requisite number of 
engineers. A delegation was sent to the Eastern cities, but returned 


without engaging an Engineer-in-Chief for the roads and railways, 
and without the desired number for the subordinate station; but 
after considerable delay the Board was fully organized and put in 
operation. Under their management work on public improve- 
ments was successful; the canal progressed steadily; the naviga- 
tion of the middle division, from Fort Wayne to Huntington, was 
uninterrupted; 16 miles of the line between Huntington and La 
Fontaine creek were filled with water this year and made ready for 
navigation ; and the remaining 20 miles were completed, except a 
portion of the locks; from La Fontaine creek to Logansport prog- 
ress was made; the line from Georgetown to Lafayette was placed 
under contract; about 30 miles of the "Whitewater canal, extending 
from Lawrenceburg through the beautiful valley of the White- 
water to Brookville, were also placed under contract, as also 23 
miles of the Central canal, passing through Indianapolis, on which 
work was commenced; also about 20 miles of the southern divis- 
ion of this work, extending from Evansville into the interior, 
were also contracted for; and on the line of the Cross-Cut canal, 
from Terre Haute to the intersection, of the Central canal, near 
the mouth of Eel river, a commencement was also made on all the 
heavy sections. All this in 1836. 

Early in this year a party of engineers was organized, and 
directed to examine into the practicability of the Michigan & 
Erie canal line, then proposed. The report of their operations 
favored its expediency. A party of engineers was also fitted out, 
who entered upon the field of service of the Madison & Lafayette 
railroad, and contracts were let for its construction from Madison 
to Vernon, on which work was vigorously commenced. Also, con- 
tracts were let for grading and bridging the New Albany & Vin- 
cennes road from the former point to Paoli, about 40 miles. 
Other roads were also undertaken and surveyed, so that indeed a 
stupendous system of internal improvement was undertaken, and 
as Guv. Noble truly remarked, upon the issue of that vast enter- 
prise the State of Indiana staked her fortune. She had gone too 
far to retreat. 

In 1837, when Gov. Wallace took the Executive chair, the 
reaction consequent upon ''over work" by the State in the internal 
improvement scheme began to be felt by the people. They feared 
a State debt was being incurred from which they could never be 
extricated; but the Governor did all he could throughout the term 
of his administration to keep up the courage of the citizens. He 


told them that the astonishing success so far, surpassed even the 
hopeo of the most sanguine, and that the flattering auspices of the 
future were sufficient to dispel every doubt and quiet every fear. 
Notwithstanding all his efforts, however, the construction of pub- 
lic works continued to decline, and in his last message he exclaimed: 
** Never before — I speak it advisedly — never before have you wit- 
nessed a period in our local history that more urgently called for 
the exercise of all the soundest and best attributes of grave and 
patriotic legislators, than the present. * * The 

truth is — and it would be folly to conceal it — we have our hands 
full — f u ll to overflowing; and therefore, to sustain ourselves, to 
preserve the credit and character of the State unimpaired, and to 
continue her hitherto unexampled march to wealth and distinction, 
we have not an hour of time, nor a dollar of money, nor a hand 
employed in labor, to squander and dissipate upon mere objects of 
idleness, or taste, or amusement." 

The State had borrowed $3,827,000 for internal improvement pur- 
poses, of which $1,327,000 was for the Wabash & Erie canal and 
the remainder for other works. The five per cent, interest on 
debts— about $200,000— which the State had to pay, had become 
burdensome, as her resources for this purpose were only two, 
besides direct taxation, and they were small, namely, the interest 
on the balances due for canal lands, and the proceeds of the third 
installment of the surplus revenue, both amounting, in 1838, 
to about $45,000. 

In August, 1839, all work ceased on these improvements, with 
one or two exceptions, and most of the contracts were surrendered 
to the State. This wae done according to an act of the Legislature 
providing for the compensation of contractors by the issue of 
treasury notes. In addition to this state of affairs, the Legisla- 
ture of 1839 had made no provision for the payment of interest on 
the State debt incurred for internal improvements. Concerning 
this situation Gov. Bigger, in 1840, said that either to go ahead 
with the works or to abandon them altogether would be equally 
ruinous to the State, the implication being that the people should 
wait a little while for a breathing spell and then take hold again. 

Of course much individual indebtedness was created during the 
progress of the work on internal improvement. "When operations 
ceased in 1839, and prices fell at the same time, the people were 
left in a great measure without the means of commanding money 
to pay their debts. This condition of private enterprise more than 


ever rendered direct taxation inexpedient. Hence it became the 
policy of Gov. Bigger to provide the means of paying the interest 
on the State debt without increasing the rate of taxation, and to 
continue that portion of the public works that could be immedi- 
ately completed, and from which the earliest returns could be 

In 1840 the system embraced ten different works, the most im- 
portant of which was the Wabash & Erie canal. The aggregate 
length of the lines embraced in the system was 1,160 miles, and 
of this only 140 miles had been completed. The amount expended 
had reached the sum of $5,600,000, and it required at least $14,000,- 
000 to complete them. Although the crops of 1841 were very 
remunerative, this perquisite alone was not sufficient to raise the 
State again up to the level of going ahead with her gigantic 

We should here state in detail the amount of work completed and 
of money expended on the various works up to this time, 1841, 
which were as follows: 

1. The Wabash & Erie canal, from the State line to Tippe- 
canoe, 129 miles in length, completed and navigable for the whole 
length, at a cost of $2,041,012. This sum includes the cost of the 
steamboat lock afterward completed at Delphi. 

2. The extension of the Wabash & Erie canal from the mouth 
of the Tippecanoe to Terre Haute, over 104 miles. The estimated 
cost of this work was $1,500,000; and the amount expended for the 
same $408,855. The navigation was at this period opened as far 
down as Lafayette, and a part of the work done in the neighbor- 
hood of Covington. 

3. The cross-cut canal from Terre Haute to Central canal, 
49 miles in length; estimated cost, $718,672; amount expended, 
$420,679; and at this time no part of the course was navigable. 

4. The White Water canal, from Lawrenceburg to the mouth 
of Nettle creek, 76| miles; estimated cost, $1,675,738; amount 
expended to that date, $1,099,867; and 31 miles of the work 
was navigable, extending from the Ohio river to Brookville. 

5. The Central canal, from the Wabash & Erie canal, to 
Indianapolis, including the feeder bend at Muncietown, 124 miles 
in length; total estimated cost, $2,299,853; amount expended, 
$568,046 ; eight miles completed at that date, and other portions 
nearly done. 


6. Central canal, from Indianapolis to Evansville on the Ohio 
river, 194 miles in length; total estimated cost, $3,532,394; amount 
expended, $831,302, 19 miles of which was completed at that date, 
at the southern end, and 16 miles, extending south from Indianao- 
olis, were nearly completed. 

7. Erie & Michigan canal, 182 miles in length; estimated cost, 
$2,624,823; amount expended, $156,394. No part of this work 

8. The Madison & Indianapolis railroad, over 85 miles in 
length; total estimated cost, $2,046,600; amount expended, $1,493,- 
013. Road finished and in operation for about 28 miles; grad- 
ing nearly finished for 27 miles in addition, extending to Eden- 

9. Indianapolis & Lafayette turnpike road, 73 miles in length; 
total estimated cost, $593, 737; amount expended, $72,118. The 
bridging and most of the grading was done on 27 miles, from 
Crawfordsville to Lafayette. 

10. New Albany & Yincennes turnpike road, 105 miles in 
length; estimated cost, $1,127,295; amount expended, $654,411. 
Forty-one miles graded and macadamized, extending from New 
Albany to Paoli, and 27 miles in addition partly graded. 

11. Jefferson ville & Crawfordsville road, over 164 miles long; 
total estimated cost, $1,651,800; amount expended, $372,737. 
Forty-five miles were partly graded and bridged, extending from 
Jefferson ville to Salem, and from Greencastle north. 

12. Improvement of the Wabash rapids, undertaken jointly by 
Indiana and Illinois"; estimated cost to Indiana, $102,500; amount 
expended by Indiana, $9,539. 

Grand totals: Length of roads and canals, 1,289 miles, only 
281 of which have been finished; estimated cost of all the works, 
$19,914,424; amount expended, $8,164,528. The State debt at 
this time amounted to $18,469,146. The two principal causes 
which aggravated the embarrassment of the State at this juncture 
were, first, paying most of the interest out of the money borrowed, 
and, secondly, selling bonds on credit. The first error subjected 
the State to the payment of compound interest, and the people, 
not feeling the pressure of taxes to discharge the interest, natu- 
rally became inattentive to the public policy pursued. Postpone- 
ment of the payment of interest is demoralizing in every way. 
During this period the State was held up in an unpleasant manner 
before the gaze of the world; but be it to the credit of this great 


and glorious State, she would not repudiate, as many other States 
and municipalities have done. 

By the year 1850, the so-called "internal improvement" system 
having been abandoned, private capital and ambition pushed for- 
ward various "public works." During this year about 400 miles 
of plank road were completed, at a cost of $1,200 to $1,500 per 
mile, and about 1,200 miles more were surveyed and in progress. 
There were in the State at this time 212 miles of railroad in suc- 
cessful operation, of which 124 were completed this year. More 
than 1,000 miles of railroad were surveyed and in progress. 

An attempt was made during the session of the Legislature in 
1869 to re-burden the State with the old canal debt, and the matter 
was considerably agitated in the canvass of 1870. The subject of the 
"Wabash & Erie canal was lightly touched in the Republican plat- 
form, occasioning considerable discussion, which probably had 
some effect on the election in the fall. That election resulted in 
an average majority in the State of about 2,864 for the Democracy. 
It being claimed that the Legislature had no authority under the 
constitution to tax the people for the purpose of aiding in the con- 
struction of railroads, the Supreme Court, in Aoril, 1871, decided 
adversely to such a claim. 


In 1869 the development of mineral resources in the State 
attracted considerable attention. Rich mines of iron and coal were 
discovered, as also fine quarries of building stone. The Yincennes 
railroad passed through some of the richest portions of the mineral 
region, the engineers of which had accurately determined the 
quality of richness of the ores. Near Brooklyn, about 20 miles, 
from Indianapolis, is a fine formation of sandstone, yielding good 
material for buildings in the city; indeed, it is considered the best 
building stone in the State. The limestone formation at Gosport, 
continuing 12 miles from that point, is of great variety, and 
includes the finest and most durable building stone in the world. 
Portions of it are susceptible only to the chisel; other portions are 
soft and can be worked with the ordinary tools. At the end of this 
limestone formation there commences a sandstone series of strata 
which extends seven miles farther, to a point about 60 miles from 
Indianapolis. Here an extensive coal bed is reached consisting of 
seven distinct veins. The first is about two feet thick, the next 
three feet, another four feet, and the others of various thicknesses. 


These beds are all easily worked, having a natural drain, and they 
yield heavy profits. In the whole of the southwestern part of the* 
State and for 300 miles up the Wabash, coal exists in good quality 
and abundance. 

The scholars, statesmen and philanthropists of Indiana work- 
ed hard and long for the appointment of a State Geologist, with 
sufficient support to enable him to make a thorough geological 
survey of the State. A partial survey was made as early as 1837-'8, 
by David Dale Owen, State Geologist, but nothing more was done 
until 1869, when Prof. Edward T. Cox was appointed State Geolo- 
gist. For 20 years previous to this date the Governors urged and 
insisted in all their messages that a thorough survey should be 
made, but almost, if not quite, in vain. In 1852, Dr. Ryland T. 
Brown delivered an able address on this subject before the Legis- 
lature, showing how much coal, iron, building stone, etc., there 
were probably ; in the State, but the exact localities and qualities 
not ascertained, and how millions of money could be saved to the 
State by the expenditure of a few thousand dollars; but "they 
answered the Doctor in the negative. It must have been because 
they hadn't time to pass the bill. They were very busy. They had 
to pass all sorts of regulations concerning the negro. They had to 
protect a good many white people from marrying negroes. And as 
they didn't need any labor in the State, if, it was ' colored,' they 
had to make regulations to shut out all of that kind of labor, and 
to take steps to put jut all that unfortunately got in, and they didn't 
have time to consider the scheme proposed by the white people " — 
W. W. 'Clayton. 

In 1853, the State Board of Agriculture employed Dr. Brown to 
make a partial examination of the geology of the State, at a salary 
of $500 a year, and to this Board the credit is due for the final 
success of the philanthropists, who in 1869 had the pleasure of 
witnessing the passage of a Legislative act " to provide for a Depart- 
ment of Geology and Natural Science, in connection with the State 
Board of Agriculture." Under this act Governor Baker immedi- 
ately appointed Prof. Edward T. Cox the State Geologist, who has 
made an able and exhaustive report of the agricultural, mineral 
and manufacturing resources of this State, world-wide in its celeb- 
rity, and a work of which the people of Indiana may be very 
proud. We can scarcely give even the substance of his report in a 
work like this, because it is of necessity deeply scientific and made 
up entirely of local detail. 


The coal measures, says Prof. E. T. Cox, cover an area of about 
6,500 square miles, in the southwestern part of the State, and 
extend from Warren county on the north to the Ohio river on the 
south, a distance of about 150 miles. This area comprises the fol- 
lowing counties: Warren, Fountain, Parke, Yermillion, Vigo, Clay, 
Sullivan, Greene, Knox, Daviess, Martin, Gibson, Pike, Dubois, 
Yanderburg, Warrick, Spencer, Perry and a small part of Crawford, 
Monroe, Putnam and Montgomery. 

This coal is all bituminous, but is divisible into three well-marked 
varieties: coking-coal, non-caking-coal or block coal and cannel 
coal. The total depth of the seams or measures is from 600 to 800 
feet, with 12 to 14 distinct seams of coal; but these are not all to 
be found throughout the area; the seams range from one foot to 
eleven feet in thickness. The caking coal prevails in the western 
portion of the area described, and has from three to four workable 
seams, ranging from three and a half to eleven feet in thickness. 
At most of the places where these are worked the coal is mined by 
adits driven in on the face of the ridges, and the deepest shafts in 
the State are less than 300 feet, the average depth for successful 
mining not being over 75 feet. This is a bright, black, sometimes 
glossy, coal, makes good coke and contains a very large percentage 
of pure illuminating gas. One pound will yield about 4J cubic feet 
of gas, with a power equal to 15 standard sperm candles. The 
average calculated calorific power of the caking coals is 7,745 heat 
units, pure carbon being 8,080. Both in the northern and southern 
portions of the field, the caking coals present.similar good qualities, 
and are a great source of private and public wealth. 

The block coal prevails in the eastern part of the field and has an 
area of about 450 square miles. This is excellent, in its raw state, 
for making pig iron. It is indeed peculiarly fitted for metal- 
lurgical purposes. It has a laminated structure with carbonaceous 
matter, like charcoal, between the lamina, with slaty cleavage, and 
it rings under the stroke of the hammer. It is " free-burning," 
makes an open fire, and without caking, swelling, scaffolding in the 
furnace or changing form, burns like hickory wood until it is con- 
sumed to a white ash and leaves no clinkers. It is likewise valuable 
for generating steam and for household uses. Many of the principal 
railway lines in the State are using it in preference to any other 
coal, as it does not burn out the fire-boxes, and gives as little trouble 
as wood. 


There are eight distinct seams of block coal in this zone, three of 
which are workable, having an average thickness of four feet. In 
some places this coal is mined by adits, but generally from shafts, 
40 to 80 feet deep. The seams are crossed by cleavage lines, and 
the coal is usually mined without powder, and may be taken out in 
blocks weighing a ton or more. When entries or rooms are driven 
angling across the cleavage lines, the walls of the mine present a 
zigzag, notched appearance resembling a Virginia worm fence. 

In 1871 there were about 24 block coal mines in operation, and 
about 1,500 tons were mined daily. Since that time this industry 
has vastly increased. This coal consists of 81£ to 83£ percent, of 
carbon, and not quite three fourths of one per cent, of sulphur. 
Calculated calorific power equal to 8,283 heat units. This coal also 
is equally good both in the northern and southern parts of the field. 
The great Indiana coal field is within 150 miles of Chicago or 
Michigan City, by railroad, from which ports the Lake Superior 
specular and red hematite ores are landed from vessels that are able 
to run in a direct course from the ore banks. Considering the 
proximity of the vast quantities of iron in Michigan and Missouri ? 
one can readily see what a glorious future awaits Indiana in respect 
to manufactories. 

Of the cannel coal, one of the finest seams to be found in the 
country is in Daviess county, this State. Here it is three and a 
half feet thick, underlaid by one and a half feet of a beautiful, jet- 
black caking coal. There is no clay, shale or other foreign matter 
intervening, and fragments of the caking coal are often found 
adhering to the cannel. There is no gradual change from one to 
the other, and the character of each is homogeneous throughout. 

The cannel coal makes a delightful fire in open grates, and does 
not pop and throw off scales into the room, as is usual with this 
kind of coal. This coal is well adapted to the manufacture of 
illuminating gas, in respect to both quantity and high illuminating 
power. One ton of 2,000 pounds of this coal yields 10,400 feet of 
gas, while the best Pennsylvania coal yields but 8,680 cubic feet. 
This gas has an illuminating power of 25 caudles, while the best 
Pennsylvania coal gas has that of only 17 candles. 

Cannel coal is also found in great abundance in Perry, Greene, 
Parke and Fountain counties, where its commercial value has already 
been demonstrated. 

Numerous deposits of bog iron ore are found in the northern part 
of the State, and clay iron-stones and impure carbonates and brown 


oxides are found scattered in the vicinity of the coal field. In some 
places the beds are quite thick and of considerable commercial 

An abundance of excellent lime is also found in Indiana, espe- 
cially in Huntington county, where many large kilns are kept in 
profitable operation. 


In 1852 the Legislature passed an act authorizing the organization 
of county and district agricultural societies, and also establishing a 
State Board, the provisions of which act are substantially as follows: 

1. Thirty or more persons in any one or two counties organizing 
into a society for the improvement of agriculture, adopting a consti- 
tution and by-laws agreeable to the regulations prescribed by the 
State Board, and appointing the proper officers and raising a sum 
of $50 for its own treasury, shall be entitled to the same amount 
from the fund arising from show licenses in their respective 

2. These societies shall offer annual premiums for improvement 
of soils, tillage, crops, manures, productions, 6tock, articles of 
domestic industry, and such other articles, productions and improve- 
ments as they may deem proper; they shall encourage, by grant 
of rewards, agricultural andhousehold manufacturing interests, and 
so regulate the premiums that small farmers will have equal 
opportunity with the large; and they shall pay special attention to 
cost and profit of the inventions and improvements, requiring an 
exact, detailed statement of the processes competing for rewards. 

3. They shall publish in a newspaper annually their list of 
awards and an abstract of their treasurers' accounts, and they shall 
report in full to the State Board their proceedings. Failing to do 
the latter they shall receive no payment from their county funds. 


The act of Feb. 17, 1852, also established a State Board of Agri- 
culture, with perpetual succession; its annual meetings to be held 
at Indianapolis on the first Thursday after the first Monday in 
January, when the reports of the county societies are to be received 
and agricultural interests discussed and determined upon; it shall 
make an annual report to the Legislature of receipts, expenses, 
proceedings, etc., of its own meeting as well as of those of the local 


societies; it shall hold State fairs, at such times and places as they 
may deem proper; may hold two meetings a year, certifying to the 
State Auditor their expenses, who shall draw his warrant upon the 
Treasurer for the same. 

In 1861 the State Board adopted certain rules, embracing ten 
8ections, for the government of local societies, but in 1868 they 
were found inexpedient and abandoned. It adopted a resolution 
admitting delegates from the local societies. 


As the Board found great difficulty in doing justice to exhibitors 
without an adequate building, the members went earnestly to work 
in the fall of 1872 to get up an interest in the matter. They 
appointed a committee of five to confer with the Councilor citizens 
of Indianapolis as to the best mode to be devised for a more 
thorough and complete exhibition of the industries of the State. 
The result of the conference was that the time had arrived for a 
regular " exposition," like that of the older States. At the Janu- 
ary meeting in 1873, Hon. Thomas Dowling, qf Terre Haute, 
reported for the committee that they found a general interest in 
this enterprise, not only at the capital, but also throughout the 
State. A sub-committee was appointed who devised plans and 
specifications for the necessary structure, taking lessons mainly 
from the Kentucky Exposition building at Louisville. All the 
members of the State Board were in favor of proceeding with the 
building except Mr. Poole, who feared that, as the interest of the 
two enterprises were somewhat conflicting, and the Exposition being 
the more exciting show, it would swallow up the State and county 

The Exposition was opened Sept. 10, 1873, when Hon. John 
Sutherland, President of the Board, the Mayor of Indianapolis, 
Senator Morton and Gov. Hendricks delivered addresses. Senator 
Morton took the high ground that the money spent for an exposi- 
tion is spent as strictly for educational purposes as that which goes 
directly into the common school. The exposition is not a mere 
show, to be idly gazed upon, but an industrial school where one 
should study and learn. He thought that Indiana had less untill- 
able land than any other State in the Union; 'twas as rich as any 
and yielded a greater variety of products; and that Indiana was 
the most prosperous agricultural community in the United States. 


The Stnte had nearly 3,700 miles of railroad, not counting side- 
track, with 400 miles more under contract for building. In 15 
or IS mouths one can go from Indianapolis to every county in 
the State by railroad. Indiana has 6,500 square miles of coal field, 
450 of which contain block coal, the best in the United States for 
manufacturing purposes. 

On tiie subject of cheap transportation, he said: " By the census 
of 1870, Pennsylvania had, of domestic animals of all kinds, 4,006,- 
589, and Indiana, 4,511,094. Pennsylvania had grain to the amount 
of 60,460,000 bushels, while Indiana had 79,350,454. The value of 
the farm products of Pennsylvania was estimated to be $183,946,- 
000; those of Indiana, $122,914,000. Thus you see that while 
Indiana had 505,000 head of live stock more, and 19,000,000 
bushels of grain more than Pennsylvania, yet the products of Penn- 
sylvania are estimated at $183,946,000, on account of her greater 
proximity to market, while those of Indiana are estimated at only 
$122,914,000. Thus you can understand the importance of cheap 
transportation to Indiana. 

"Let us see how the question of transportation affects us on the 
other hand, with reference to the manufacturer of Bessemer steel. 
Of the 174,000 tons of iron ore used in the blast furnaces of Pitts- 
burg last year, 84,000 tons came from Lake Superior, 64,000 tons 
from Iron Mountain, Missouri, 20,000 tons from Lake Champlain, 
and less than 5,000 tons from the home mines of Pennsylvania. 
They cannot manufacture their iron with the coal they have in 
Pennsylvania without coking it. We have coal in Indiana with 
which we can, in its raw state, make the best of iron; while we are 
250 miles nearer Lake Superior than Pittsburg, and 430 miles 
nearer to Iron Mountain. So that the question of transportation 
determines the fact that Indiana must become the great center for 
the manufacture of Bessemer steel." 

"What we want in this country is diversified labor.'' 

The grand hall of the Exposition buildings is on elevated ground 
at the head of Alabama street, and commands a line view of the 
city. The structure is of brick, 308 feet long by 150 in width, and 
two stories high. Its elevated galleries extend quite around the 
building, under the roof, thus affording visitors an opportunity to 
secure the most commanding view to be had in the city. The 
lower floor of the grand hall is occupied by the mechanical, geologi- 
cal and miscellaneous departments, and by the offices of the Board, 
which extend alone: the entire front. The second floor, which is 


approached by three wide stairways, accommodates the tine art, 
musical and other departments of light mechanics, and is brilliantly 
lighted by windows and skylights. But as we are here entering 
the description of a subject magnificent to behold, we enter a 
description too vast to complete, and we may as well stop here as 

The Presidents of the State Fairs have been: Gov. J. A. Wright, 
1852-'4; Gen. Jos. Orr, 1855; Dr. A. C. Stevenson, 1856-'8; G. D. 
Wagner; 1859-60; D. P. Holloway, 1861; Jas. D.Williams, 1S62, 
1870-'l; A. D. llamrick, 1863, 1867-'9; Stearns Fisher, 18 64-' 6; 
John Sutherland, 1872-'4; Wm. Crim, 1875. Secretaries: Johu B. 
Dillon, 1852-'3, 1855, 1858-'9; Ignatius Brown, 1856-7; W.T. Den- 
nis, 1851, 1860-'l; W. H. Loomis, 1862'6; A. J. Holmes, 1867-'9; 
Joseph Foole, 1870-'l ; Alex. Heron, 1872-'5. Place of fair, Indian- 
apolis every year except: Lafayette, 1853; Madison, 1854; New 
Albany, 1859; Fort Wayne, 1S65; and Terre Haute, 1867. In 
1861 there was no fair. The gate and entry receipts increased from 
$1,651 in 1852 to $15,330 in 1874. 

On the opening of the Exposition, Oct. 7, 1874, addresses were 
delivered by the President of the Board, Hon. John Sutherland, 
and by Govs. Hendricks, Bigler and Pollock. Yvon's celebrated 
painting, the " Great Republic," was unveiled with great ceremony, 
and many distinguished guests were present to witness it. 

The exhibition of 1S75 showed that the plate glass from the 
southern part of the State was equal to the finest French plate; that 
the force- blowers made in the eastern part of the State was of a 
world-wide reputation; that the State has within its bounds the 
largest wagon manufactory in the world ; that in other parts of the 
State there were all sorts and sizes of manufactories, including roll- 
ing mills and blast furnaces, and in the western part coal was mined 
and shipped at the rate of 2,500 tons a day from one vicinity; and 
many other facts, which " would astonish the citizens of Indiana 
themselves even more than the rest of the world." 


This society was organized in 1842, thus taking the lead in the 
West. At this time Henry Ward Beecher was a resident of Indian- 
apolis, engaged not only as a minister but also as editor of the 
Indiana Farmer and Gardener, and his influence was very exten- 
sive in the interests of horticulture, floriculture and farming. 
Prominent among his pioneer co-laborers were Judge Coburn 


Aaron Aldridge, Capt. James Sigarson, D. V. Culley, Reuben 
Ragan, Stephen Hampton, Cornelius Ratliff, Joshua Lindley, 
Abner Pope and many others. In the autumn of this year the 
society held an exhibition, probably the first in the State, if not 
in the "West, in the hall of the new State house. The only pre- 
mium offered was a set of silver teaspoons for the best seedling 
apple, which was won by Reuben Ragan, of Putnam county, for 
an apple christened on this occasion the " Osceola." 

The society gave great encouragement to the introduction of 
new varieties of fruit, especially of the pear, as the soil and cli- 
mate of Indiana were well adapted to this fruit. But the bright 
horizon which seemed to be at this time looming up all around the 
field of the young society's operations was suddenly and thoroughly 
darkened by the swarm of noxious insects, diseases, blasts of win- 
ter and the great distance to market. The prospects of the cause 
scarcely justified a continuation of the expense of assembling from 
remote parts of the State, and the meetings of the society therefore 
soon dwindled away until the organization itself became quite 

But when, in 1852 and afterward, railroads began to traverse the 
State in all directions, the Legislature provided for the organization 
of a State Board of Agriculture, whose scope was not only agri- 
culture but also horticulture and the mechanic and household arts. 
The rapid growth of the State soon necessitated a differentiation of 
this body, and in the autumn of 1860, at Indianapolis, there was 
organized the 


October 18, Reuben Ragan was elected President and Wm H. 
Loomis, of Marion county, Secretary. The constitution adopted 
provided for biennial meetings in January, at Indianapolis. At 
the first regular meeting, Jan. 9, 1861, a committee-man for each 
congressional district was appointed, all of them together to be 
known as the "State Fruit Committee," and twenty-five members 
were enrolled during this session. At the regular meeting in 1863 
the constitution was so amended as to provide for annual sessions, 
and the address of the newly elected President, Hon. I. G. D. Nel- 
son, of Allen county, urged the establishment of an agricultural 
college. He continued in the good cause until his work was 
crowned with success. 


In 1864 there was but little done on account of the exhaust- 
ive demands of the great war; and the descent of mercury 60° in 
eighteen hours did so much mischief as to increase the discourage- 
ment to the verge of despair. The title of the society was at this 
meeting, Jan., 1864 changed to that of the Indiana Horticultural 

The first several meetings of the society were mostly devoted to 
revision of fruit lists; and although the good work, from its vast- 
ness and complication, became somewhat monotonous, it has been 
no exception in this respect to the law that all the greatest and 
most productive labors of mankind require perseverance and toil. 

In 1866, George M. Beeler, who had so indefatigably served as 
secretary for several years, saw himself hastening to his grave, and 
showed his love for the cause of fruit culture by bequeathing to 
the society the sum of $1,000. This year also the State Superin- 
tendent of Public Instruction was induced to take a copy of the 
Society's transactions for each of the township libraries in the State, 
and this enabled the Society to bind its volume of proceedings in 
a substantial manner. 

At the meeting in 1867 many valuable and interesting papers 
were presented, the office of corresponding secretary was created, 
and the subject of Legislative aid was discussed. The State Board 
of Agriculture placed the management of the horticultural depart- 
ment of the State fair in the care of the Society. 

The report for 1868 shows for the first time a balance on hand, 
after paying expenses, the balance being $61.55. Up to this time 
the Society had to take care of itself, — meeting current expenses, do- 
ing its own printing and binding, " boarding and clothing itself," 
and diffusing annually an amount of knowledge utterly incalcu- 
lable. During the year called meetings were held at Salem, in the 
peach and grape season, and evenings during the State fair, which 
was held in Terre Haute the previous fall. The State now assumed 
the cost of printing and binding, but the volume of transactions 
was not quite so valuable as that of the former year. 

In 1870 $160 was given to this Society by the State Board of 
Agriculture, to be distributed as prizes for essays, which object 
was faithfully carried out. The practice has since then been con- 

In 1871 the Horticultural Society brought out the best volume 
of papers and proceedings it ever has had published. 


In 1872 the office of corresponding secretary was discontinued; 
the appropriation by the State Board of Agriculture diverted to- 
the payment of premiums on small fruits given at a show held the 
previous summer; results of the exhibition not entirely satisfac- 

In 1873 the State officials refused to publish the discussions of 
the members of the Horticultural Society, and the Legislature 
appropriated $500 for the purpose for each of the ensuing two 

In 1875 the Legislature enacted a law requiring that one of the 
trustees of Purdue University shall be selected by the Horticultu- 
ral Society. 

The aggregate annual membership of this society from its organ- 
ization in 1860 to 1875 was 1,225. 


The subject of education has been referred to in almost every 
gubernatorial message from the organization of the Territory to 
the present time. It is indeed the most favorite enterprise of the 
Hoosier State. In the first survey of Western lands, Congress set 
apart a section of land in every township, generally the 16th, for 
school purposes, the disposition of the land to be in hands of the 
residents of the respective townships. Besides this, to this State 
were given two entire townships for the use of a State Seminary, 
to be under the control of the Legislature. Also, the State con- 
stitution provides that all fines for the breach of law and all com- 
mutations for militia service be appropriated to the use of county 
seminaries. In 1825 the common-school lands amounted to 
680,207 acres, estimated at $2 an acre, and valued therefore at 
$1,216,044. At this time the seminary at Bloomington, supported 
in part by one of these township grants, was very flourishing. The 
common schools, however, were in rather a poor condition. 


In 1852 the free-school system was fully established, which has 
resulted in placing Indiana in the lead of this great nation. Al- 
though this is a pleasant subject, it is a very large one to treat in 
a condensed notice, as this has to be. 

The free-school system of Indiana first became practically oper- 
ative the first Monday of April, 1853, when the township trustees 


for school purposes were elected through the State. The law com- 
mitted to them the charge of all the educational affairs in their 
respective townships. As it was feared by the opponents of the 
law that it would not be possible to select men in all the town- 
ships capable of executing the school laws satisfactorily, the 
people were thereby awakened to the necessity of electing their 
very best men ; and although, of course, many blunders have been 
made by trustees, the operation of the law has tended to elevate the 
adult population as well as the youth; and Indiana still adheres to 
the policy of appointing its best men to educational positions. 
The result is a grand surprise to all old fogies, who indeed scarcely 
dare to appear such any longer. 

To instruct the people in the new law and set the educational 
machinery going, a pamphlet of over 60 pages, embracing the law, 
with notes and explanations, was issued from the office of a super- 
intendent of public instruction, and distributed freely throughout 
the State. The first duty of the Board of Trustees was to establish 
and conveniently locate a sufficient number of schools for the edu- 
cation of all the children of their township. But where were the 
school-houses, and what were they? Previously they had been 
erected by single districts, but under this law districts were abol- 
ished, their lines obliterated, and houses previously built by dis- 
tricts became the property of the township, and all the houses were 
to be built at the expense of the township by an appropriation of 
township funds by the trustees. In some townships there was not 
a single school-house of any kind, and in others there were a few 
old, leaky, dilapidated log cabins, wholly unfit for use even in sum- 
mer, and in " winter worse than nothing." Before the people could 
be tolerably accommodated with schools at least 3,500 school-houses 
had to be erected in the State. 

By a general law, enacted in conformity to the constitution of 
1852, each township was made a municipal corporation, and every 
voter in the township a member of the corporation ; the Board of 
Trustees constituted the township legislature as well as the execu- 
tive body, the whole body of voters, however, exercising direct con- 
trol through frequent meetings called by the trustees. Special 
taxes and every other matter of importance were directly voted 

Some tax-payers, who were opposed to special townships' taxes, 
retarded the progress of schools by refusing to pay their assess- 
ment. Contracts for building school-houses were given up, houses 


half finished were abandoned, and in many townships all school 
operations were suspended. In some of them, indeed, a rumor was 
circulated by the enemies of the law that the entire school law from 
beginning to end had been declared by the Supreme Court uncon- 
stitutional and void; and the Trustees, believing this, actually dis- 
missed their schools and considered themselves out of office. Hon. 
W. C. Larrabee, the (first) Superintendent of Public Instruction, 
corrected this error as soon as possible. 

But while the voting of special taxes was doubted on a constitu- 
tional point, it became evident that it was weak in a practical point; 
for in many townships the opponents of the system voted down every 
proposition for the erection of school-houses. 

Another serious obstacle was the great deficiency in the number 
of qualified teachers. To meet the newly created want, the law 
authorized the appointment of deputies in each county to examine 
and license persons to teach, leaving it in their judgment to lower 
the standard of qualification sufficiently to enable them to license 
as many as were needed to supply all the schools. It was therefore 
found necessary to employ many "unqualified " teachers, especially 
in the remote rural districts. But the progress of the times 
enabled the Legislature of 1853 to erect a standard of qualifica- 
tion and give to the county commissioners the authority to license 
teachers; and in order to supply every school with a teacher, while 
there might not be a sufficient number of properly qualified teach- 
ers, the commissioners were authorized to grant temporary licenses 
to take charge of particular schools not needing a high grade of 

In 1854 the available common-school fund consisted of the con- 
gressional township fund, the surplus revenue fund, the saline 
fund, the bank tax fund and miscellaneous fund, amounting in all 
to $2,460,000. This amount, from many sources, was subsequently 
increased to a very great extent. The common -school fund was 
intrusted to the several counties of the State, which were held 
responsible for the preservation thereof and for the payment of the 
annual interest thereon. The fund was managed by the auditors 
and treasurers of the several counties, for which these officers were 
allowed one-tenth of the income. It was loaned out to the citizens 
of the county in sums not exceeding $300, on real estate security. 
The common-school fund was thus consolidated and the proceeds 
equally distributed each year to all the townships, cities and towns 


of the State, in proportion to the number of children. This phase 
of the law met with considerable opposition in 1854. 

The provisions of the law for the establishment of township 
libraries was promptly carried into effect, and much time, labor 
and thought were devoted to the selection of books, special atten- 
tion being paid to historical works. 

The greatest need in 1854 was for qualified teachers; but never- 
theless the progress of public education during this and following 
years was very great. School-houses were erected, many of them 
being fine structures, well furnished, and the libraries were consid- 
erably enlarged. 

The city school system of Indiana received a heavy set-back in 
1858, by a decision of the Supreme Court of the State, that the 
law authorizing cities and townships to levy a tax additional to the 
State tax was not in conformity with that clause in the Constitu- 
tion which required uniformity in taxation. The schools were 
stopped for want of adequate funds. For a few weeks in each year 
thereafter the feeble " uniform " supply from the State fund en- 
abled the people to open the schools, but considering the returns 
the public realizes for so small an outlay in educational matters, 
this proved more expensive than ever. Private schools increased, 
but the attendance was small. Thus the interests of popular edu- 
cation languished for years. But since the revival of the free 
schools, the State fund has grown to vast proportions, and the 
schools of this intelligent and enterprising commonwealth compare 
favorably with those of any other portion of the United States. 

There is no occasion to present all the statistics of school prog- 
ress in this State from the first to the present time, but some 
interest will be taken in the latest statistics, which we take from the 
5th Biennial Keport (for 1877-'8) by the State Superintendent of 
Public Instruction, Hon. James H. Smart. This report, by the 
way, is a volume of 480 octavo pages, and is free to all who desire 
a copy. 

The rapid, substantia] and permanent increase which Indiana 
enjoys in her school interests is thus set forth in the above report. 



of School 

No of 



Am't Paid 


in Days. 


at School. 








| 239,924 
































The increase of school population during the past ten years has 
been as follows: 

Total in 1868, 592,865. 

Increase for year ending Increase for year ending 

8ept 1,1869 17,699 May 1, 1874 13,922 

" 1,1870 9.063 " 1,1875 13,372 

" 1,1871 3,101 " 1,1876 11,494 

" 1,1872 8.811 " 1,1877 15,476 

May 1, 1873 (8 months) 8,903 " 1,1878 4,447 

Total, 1878 .699,153 

No. of white males 354,271 ; females 333,033 687,304 

" "colored" 5,937; " 5,912 11,849 


Twenty-nine per cent, of the above are in the 49 cities and 212 
incorporated towns, and 71 per cent, in the 1,011 townships. 

The number of white males enrolled in the schools in 1878 was 
267,315, and of white females, 237,739; total, 505,054; of colored 
males, 3,794; females, 3,687; total, 7,481; grand total, 512,535. 

The average number enrolled in each district varies from 51 to 56, 
and the average daily attendance from 32 to 35; but many children 
reported as absent attend parochial or private schools. Seventy- 
three per cent, of the white children and 63 per cent, of the colored, 
in the State, are enrolled in the schools. 

The number of days taught vary materially in the different town- 
ships, and on this point State Superintendent Smart iterates: "As 
long as the schools of some of our townships are kept open but 60 
days and others 220 days, we do not have a uniform system, — such 
as was contemplated by the constitution. The school law requires 
the trustee of a township to maintain each of the schools in his 
corporation an equal length of time. This provision cannot be so 
easily applied to the various counties of the State, for the reason 
that there is a variation in the density of the population, in the 
wealth of the people, and the amount of the township funds. I 
think, however, there is scarcely a township trustee in the State 
who cannot, under the present law, if he chooses to do so, bring his 
schools up to an average of six months. I think it would be wise 
to require each township trustee to levy a sufficient local tax to 
maintain the schools at least six months of the year, provided this 
can be done without increasing the local tax beyond the amount 
now permitted by law. This would tend to bring the poorer schools 
up to the standard of the best, and would thus unify the system, 
and make it indeed a common-school system." 


The State, however, averages six and a half months school per 
year to each district. 

The number of school districts in the State in 1878 was 9,3S0, in 
all but 34 of which school was taught during that year. There are 
396 district and 151 township graded schools. Number of white 
male teachers, 7,977, and of female, 5,699; colored, male, 62, and 
female, 43; grand total, 13,781. For the ten years ending with 
1878 there was an increase of 409 male teachers and 811 female 
teachers. All these teachers, except about 200, attend normal 
institutes, — a showing which probably surpasses that of any other 
State in this respect. 

The average daily compensation of teachers throughout the 
State in 1878 was as follows: In townships, males, $1.90; females, 
$1.70; in towns, males, $3.09; females, $1.81; in cities, males, 
$4.06; females, $2.29. 

In 1878 there were 89 stone school -houses, 1,724 brick, 7,608 
frame, and 124 log; total, 9,545, valued at $11,536,647.39. 

And lastly, and best of all, we are happy to state that Indiana has 
a larger school fund than any other State in the Union. In 1872, 
according to the statistics before us, it was larger than that of any 
other State by $2,000,000 ! the figures being as follows : 

Indiana $8,437,593.47 Michigan $2,500,214.91 

Ohio 6,614,816.50 Missouri 2,525,252.52 

Illinois 6,348,538.32 Minnesota 2,471,199.31 

New York 2,880,017.01 Wisconsin 2,237,414.37 

Connecticut 2,809,770.70 Massachusetts 2,210,864.09 

Iowa 4,274,581.93 Arkansas 2,000,000.00 

Nearly all the rest of the States have less than a million dollars 
in their school fund. 

In 1872 the common -school fund of Indiana consisted of the 

Non-negotiable bonds $3,591,316.15 Escheated estates 17,866.55 

Common-school fund, 1,666,^24.50 Sinking fund, last distrib- 

Sinking fund, at 8 per cent 569,139.94 ution 67,068.72 

Congressional township Sinking fund undistrib- 

fund 2,281,076.69 uted 100,165.92 

Value of unsold Congres- Swamp land fund 42,418.40 

sional township lands.. 94,245.00 ■ 

Saline fund 5,727.66 $8,437,593 47 

Bank tax fund 1,744.94 

In 1S78 the grand total was $8,974,455.55. 

The origin of the respective school funds of Indiana is as follows: 

1. The " Congressional township " fund is derived from the 

proceeds of the 16th sections of the townships. Almost all of these 


have been sold and the money put out at interest. The amount of 
this fund in 1377 was $2,452^936.62. 

2. The " saline " fund consists of the proceeds of the sale of 
salt springs, and the land adjoining necessary for working them to 
the amount of 36 entire sections, authorized by the original act of 
Congress. By authority of the same act the Legislature has made 
these proceeds a part of the permanent school fund. 

3. The " surplus revenue M fund. Under the administration of 
President Jackson, the national debt, contracted by the Revolutionary 
war and the purchase of Louisiana, was entirely discharged, and a 
large surplus remained in the treasury. In June, 1836, Congress 
distributed this money amcng the States in the ratio of their repre- 
sentation in Congress, subject to recall, and Indiana's share was 
$860,254. The Legislature subsequently set apart $573,502.96 of 
this amount to be a part of the school fund. It is not probable that 
the general Government will ever recall this money. 

4. '* Bank tax " fund. The Legislature of 1834 chartered a State 
Bank, of which a part of the stock was owned by the State and a 
part by individuals. Section 15 of the charter required an annual 
deduction from the dividends, equal to 12-i cents on each share not 
held by the State, to be set apart for common-school education. 
This tax finally amounted to $80,000, which now bears interest in 
favor of education. 

5. "Sinking" fund- In order to set the State bank under 
good headway, the State at first borrowed $1,300,000, and out of 
the unapplied balances a fund was created, increased by unapplied 
balances also of the principal, interest and dividends of the amount 
lent to the individual holders of stock, for the purpose of sinking 
the debt of the bank; hence the name sinking fund. The 114th 
section of the charter provided that after the full payment of the 
bank's indebtedness, principal, interest and incidental expenses, the 
residue of said fund should be a permanent fund, appropriated to 
the cause of education. As the charter extended through a period 
of 25 years, this fund ultimately reached the handsome amount of 

The foregoing are all interest- bearing funds; the following are 
additional school funds, but not productive: 

6. 4i Seminary " fund. By order of the Legislature in 1852, all 
county seminaries were sold, aud the net proceeds placed in the 
common-school fund. 


7. All fines for the violation of the penal laws of the State are 
placed to the credit of the common-school fund 

8. All recognizances of witnesses and parties indicted for crime, 
when forfeited, are collectible by law and made a part of the 
school fund. These are reported to the office of the State Superin- 
tendent of Public Instruction annually. For the five years ending 
with 1872, they averaged about $34,000 a year. 

9. Escheats. These amount to $17,865.55, which was still in 
the State treasury in 1872 and unapplied. 

10. The "swamp-land" fund arises from the sale of certain 
Congressional land grants, not devoted to any particular purpose 
by the terms of the grant. In 1872 there was $42,418.40 of this 
money, subject to call by the school interests. 

11. Taxes on corporations are to some extent devoted by the 
Constitution to school purposes, but the clause on this subject is 
somewhat obscure, and no funds as yet have been realized from this 
source. It is supposed that several large sums of money are due 
the common-school fund from the corporations. 

Constitutionally, any of the above funds may be increased, but 
never diminished. 


So early as 1802 the U. S. Congress granted lands and a charter 
to the people of that portion of the Northwestern Territory resid- 
ing at Vincennes, for the erection and maintenance of a seminary 
of learning in that early settled district; and five years afterward 
an act incorporating the Yincennes University asked the Legisla- 
ture to appoint a Board of Trustees for the institution and order the 
sale of a single township in Gibson county, granted by Congress in 
1802, so that the proceeds might be at once devoted to the objects 
of education. On this Board the following gentlemen were ap- 
pointed to act in the interests of the institution: William H. Har- 
rison, John Gibson, Thomas H. Davis, Henry Vanderburgh, Wal- 
ler Taylor, Benjamin Parke, Peter Jones, James Johnson, John 
Kice Jones, George Wallace, William Bullitt, Elias McNamee, 
John Badolett, Henry Hurst, Gen. W. Johnston, Francis Vigo, 
Jacob Kuykendall, Samuel McKee, Nathaniel Ewing, George 
Leech, Luke Decker, Samuel Gwathmey and John Johnson. 

The sale of this land was slow and the proceeds small. The 
members of the Board, too, were apathetic, and failing to meet, the 
institution fell out of existence and out of memory. 


In 1816 Congress granted another township in Monroe county, 
located within its present limits, and the foundation of a university 
was laid. Four years later, and after Indiana was erected into a 
State, an act of the local Legislature appointing another Board of 
Trustees and authorizing them to select a location for a university 
and to enter into contracts for its construction, was passed. The 
new Board met at Bloomington and selected a site at that place for 
the location of the present building, entered into a contract for the 
erection of the same in 1822, and in 1825 had the satisfaction of being 
present at the inauguration of the university. The first session was 
commenced under the Rev. Baynard R. Hall, with 20 students, and 
when the learned professor could only boast of a salary of $150 a 
year; yet, on this very limited sum the gentleman worked with 
energy and soon brought the enterprise through all its elementary 
stages to the position of an academic institution. Dividing the 
year into two sessions of five months each, the Board acting under 
his advice, changed the name to the " Indiana Academy," nnder 
which title it was duly chartered. In 1827 Prof. John H. Harney 
was raised to the chairs of mathematics, natural philosophy and 
astronomy, at a salary of $300 a year; and the salary of Mr. Hall 
raised to $400 a year. In 1828 the name was again changed by the 
Legislature to the " Indiana College," and the following professors 
appointed over the different departments; Rev. Andrew Wylie, 
D. D., Frof. of mental and moral philosophy and belles lettres; 
John H. Harney, Prof, of mathematics and natural philosophy ; and 
Rev. Bayard R. Hall, Prof, of ancient languages. This year, also, 
dispositions were made for the sale of Gibson county lands and for 
the erection of a new college building. This action was opposed 
by some legal difficulties, which after a time were overcome, and 
the new college building was put under construction, and continued 
to prosper until 1854, when it was destroyed by fire, and 9,000 
volumes, with all the apparatus, were consumed The curriculum 
was then carried out in a temporary building, while a new struct- 
ure was going up. 

In 1873 the new college, with its additions, was completed, and 
the routine of studies continued. A museum of natural history, 
a laboratory and the Owen cabinet added, and the standard of the 
studies and morale generally increased in excellence and in strict- 

Blootnington is a fine, healthful locality, on the Louisville, New 
Albany & Chicago railway. The University buildings are 5n the 


collegiate Gothic style, simply and truly carried out. The building, 
fronting College avenue is 145 feet in front. It consists of a 
central building 60 feet by 53, with wings each 38 feet by 26, and 
the whole, three stories high. The new building, fronting the 
west, is 130 feet by 50. Buildings lighted by gas. 

The faculty numbers thirteen. Number of students in the col- 
legiate department in 1879-'80, 183; in preparatory, 169; total, 
349, allowing for three counted twice. 

The university may now be considered on a fixed foundation, car- 
rying out the intention of the President, who aimed at scholarship 
rather than numbers, and demands the attention of eleven pro- 
fessors, together with the State Geologist, who is ex-ofilcio member 
of the faculty, and required to lecture at intervals and look after 
the geological and mineralogical interests of the institution. The 
faculty of medicine is represented by eleven leading physicians 
of the neighborhood. The faculty of law requires two resident 
professors, and the other chairs remarkably well represented. 

The university received from the State annually about $15,000, 
and promises with the aid of other public grants and private dona- 
tions to vie with any other State university within the Republic. 


This is a " college for the benefit of agricultural and the mechanic 
arts," as provided for by act of Congress, July 2, 1862, donating 
lands for this purpose to the extent of 30,000 acres of the public 
domain to each Senator and Representative in the Federal assem- 
bly. Indiana having in Congress at that time thirteen members, 
became entitled to 390,000 acres; but as there was no Congress 
land in the State at this time, scrip had to be taken, and it was 
upon the following condition (we quote the act): 

" Section 4. That all moneys derived from the sale of land 
scrip shall be invested in the stocks of the United States, or of 
some other safe stocks, yielding no less than five per centum upon 
the par value of said stocks; and that the moneys so invested shall 
constitute a perpetual fund, the capital of which shall remain undi- 
minished, except so far as may be provided in section 5 of this act, 
and the interest of which shall be inviolably appropriated by each 
State, which may take and claim the benefit of this act, to the 
endowment, support and maintenance of at least one college, where 
the leading object shall be, without excluding other scientific and 


classical studies, and including military tactics, to teach such 
branches of learning as are related to agriculture and the mechanic 
arts, in 6uch a manner as the Legislatures of the States may re- 
spectively prescribe, in order to promote the liberal and practical 
education of the industrial classes in the several pursuits and pro- 
fessions of life. 

" Sec. 5. That the grant of land and land scrip hereby author- 
ized shall be made on the following conditions, to which, as well as 
the provision hereinbefore contained, the previous assent of the 
several States shall be signified by Legislative act: 

M First. If any portion of the funds invested as provided by the 
foregoing section, or any portion of the interest thereon, shall by 
any action or contingency be diminished or lost, it shall be replaced 
by the State to which it belongs, so that the capital of the fund 
shall remain forever undiminished, and the annual interest shall be 
regularly applied, without diminution, to the purposes mentioned 
in the fourth section of this act, except that a sum not exceeding ten 
per centum upon the amount received by any State under the pro- 
visions of this act may be expended for the purchase of lands for 
sites or experimental farms, whenever authorized by the respective 
Legislatures of said States. 

" Second. No portion of said fund, nor interest thereon, shall 
be applied, directly or indirectly, under any pretence whatever, to 
the purchase, erection, preservation or repair of any building or 

" Third. Any State which may take and claim the benefit of 
the provisions of this act, shall provide, within five years at least, 
not less than one college, as provided in the fourth section of this 
act, or the grant to such State shall cease and said State be bound 
to pay the United States the amount received of any lands pre- 
viously sold, and that the title to purchase under the States shall 
be valid. 

"Fourth. An annual report shall be made regarding the prog- 
ress of each college, recording any improvements and experiments 
made, with their cost and result, and such other matter, including 
State industrial and economical statistics, as may be supposed use- 
ful, one copy of which shall be transmitted by mail free, by each, 
to all other colleges which may be endowed under the provisions 
of this act, and also one copy to the Secretary of the Interior. 

"Fifth. When lands shall be selected from those which have 
been raised to double the minimum price in consequence of railroad 


grants, that they shall be computed to the States at the maximum 
price, and the number of acres proportionately diminished. 

"Sixth. No State, while in a condition of rebellion or insur- 
rection against the Government of the United States, shall be 
entitled to the benefits of this act. 

"Seventh. No State shall be entitled to the benefits of this act 
unless it shall express its acceptance thereof by its Legislature 
•within two years from the date of its approval by the President." 

The foregoing act was approved by the President, July 2, 1862. 
It seemed that this law, amid the din of arms with the great Rebel- 
lion, was about to pass altogether unnoticed by the next General 
Assembly, January, 1863, had not Gov. Morton's attention been 
called to it by a delegation of citizens from Tippecanoe county, who 
visited him in the interest of Battle Ground. He thereupon sent 
a special message to the Legislature, upon the subject, and then 
public attention was excited to it everywhere, and several localities 
competed for the institution; indeed, the rivalry was so great that 
this session failed to act in the matter at all, and would have failed 
to accept of the grant within the two years prescribed in the last 
clause quoted above, had not Congross, by a supplementary act, 
extended the time two years longer. 

March 6, 1865, the Legislature accepted the conditions of the 
national gift, and organized the Board of " Trustees of the Indiana 
Agricultural College." This Board, by authority, sold the scrip 
April 9, 1867, for $212,238.50, which sum, by compounding, has 
increased to nearly $400,000, and is invested in U. S. bonds. Not 
until the special session of May, 1869, was the locality for this col- 
lege selected, when John Purdue, of Lafayette, offered $150,000 
and Tippecanoe county $50,000 more, and the title of the institution 
changed to " Purdue University." Donations were also made by 
the Battle Ground Institute and the Battle Ground Institute of the 
Methodist Episcopal Church. 

The building was located on a 100- acre tract near Chauncey, 
which Purdue gave in addition to his magnificent donation, and to 
which 86£ acres more have since been added on the north. The 
boarding-house, dormitory, the laboratory, boiler and gas house, 
a frame armory and gymnasium, stable with shed and work-shop 
are all to the north of the gravel road, and form a group of build- 
ings within a circle of 600 feet. The boiler and gas house occupy 
a rather central position, and supply steam and gas to the boarding- 
house, dormitory and laboratory. A description of these buildings 


may be apropos. The boarding-house is a brick structure, in the 
modern Italian style, planked by a turret at each of the front angles 
and measuring 120 feet front by 6S feet deep. The dormitory is a 
quadrangular ediiice, in the plain Elizabethan style, four stories 
high, arranged to accommodate 125 students. Like the other build- 
ings, it is heated by steam and lighted by gas. Bathing accommo- 
dations are in each end of all the stories. The laboratory is almost 
a duplicate of a similar department in Brown University, R. I. It 
is a much smaller building than the boarding-house, but yet suffi- 
ciently large to meet the requirements. A collection of minerals, 
fossils and antiquities, purchased from Mr. Richard Owen, former 
President of the institution, occupies the temporary cabinet or 
museum, pending the construction of a new building. The military 
hall and gymnasium is 100 feet frontage by 50 feet deep, and only 
one story high. The uses to which this hall is devoted are exer- 
cises in physical and military drill. The boiler and gas house is an 
establishment replete in itself, possessing every facility for supply- 
ing the buildings of the university with adequate heat and light. 
It is further provided with pumping works. Convenient to this 
department is the retort and great meters of the gas house, capable 
of holding 9,000 cubic feet of gas, and arranged upon the principles 
of modern science. The barn and shed form a single building, 
both useful, convenient and ornamental. 

In connection with the agricultural department of the university, 
a brick residence and barn were erected and placed at the disposa' 
of the farm superintendent, Maj. L. A. Burke. 

The buildings enumerated above have been erected at a cost 
approximating the following: boarding-house, $37,S07.07; labora- 
tory, $15,000; dormitory, $32,000; military hall and gymnasium, 
|6,410.47; boiler and gas house, $1,814; barn and shed, $1,500; 
work-shop, $1,000; dwelling and barn, $2,500. 

Besides the original donations, Legislative appropriations, vary- 
ing in amount, have been made from time to time, and Mr. Pierce, 
the treasurer, has donated his official salary, $600 a year, for the time 
he served, for decorating the grounds, — if necessary. 

The opening of the university was, owing to varied circumstan- 
ces, postponed from time to time, and not until March, 1S74, was a 
class formed, and this only to comply with the act of Congress in 
that connection in its relation to the university. However, in 
September following a curriculum was adopted, and the first regu- 
lar term of the Purdue University entered upon. This curn v An . 


comprises the varied subjects generally pertaining to a first-class 
university course, namely: in the school of natural science — 
physics and industrial mechanics, chemistry and natural history; 
in the school of engineering — civil and mining, together with the 
principles of architecture; in the school of agriculture — theoret- 
ical and practical agriculture, horticulture and veterinary science; 
in the military school — the mathematical sciences, German and 
French literature, free-hand and mechanical drawing, with all the 
studies pertaining to the natural and military sciences. Modern 
languages and natural history embrace their respective courses to 
the fullest extent. 

There are this year (1880) eleven members of the faculty, 86 
students in the regular courses, and 117 other students. In respect 
to attendance there has been a constant increase from the first. 
The first year, 1874- '5, there were but 64 students. 


This institution was founded at Terre Haute in 1870, in accord- 
ance with the act of the Legislature of that year. The building is 
a large brick edifice situated upon a commanding location and 
possessing some architectural beauties. From its inauguration 
many obstacles opposed its advance toward efficiency and success; 
but the Board of Trustees, composed of men experienced in edu- 
cational matters, exercised their strength of mind and body to 
overcome every difficulty, and secure for the State Normal School 
every distinction and emolument that lay within their power, 
their efforts to this end being very successful ; and it is a fact that 
the institution has arrived at, if not eclipsed, the standard of their 
expectations. Not alone does the course of study embrace the 
legal subjects known as reading, writing, spelling, arithmetic, 
geography, United States history, English grammar, physiology, 
manners and ethics, but it includes also universal history, the 
mathematical sciences and many other subjects foreign to older 
institutions. The first studies are prescribed by law and must be 
inculcated; the second are optional with the professors, and in the 
case of Indiana generally hold place in the curriculum of the nor- 
mal school. 

The model, or training school, specially designed for the training 
of teachers, forms a most important factor in State educational 
matters, and prepares teachers of both sexes for one of the most 
important positions in life; viz., that of educating the youth of the 


State. The advanced course of studies, together with the higher 
studies of the normal school, embraces Latin and German, and pre- 
pares young men and women for entrance to the State University. 

The efficiency of this school may be elicited from the following 
facts, taken from the official reports: out of 41 persons who had 
graduated from the elementary course, nine, after teaching success- 
fully in the public schools of this State from two terms to two 
years, returned to the institution and sought admission to the 
advanced classes. They were admitted; three of them were gentle- 
men and six ladies. After spending two years and two terms in the 
elementary course, and then teaching in the schools during the 
time already mentioned they returned to spend two and a half or 
three years more, and for the avowed purpose of qualifying them- 
selves for teaching in the most responsible positions of the public 
school service. In fact, no student is admitted to the school who 
does not in good faith declare his intention to qualify himself for 
teaching in the schools of the State. This the law requires, and 
the rule is adhered to literally. 

The report further says, in speaking of the government of the 
school, that the fundamental idea is rational freedom, or that free- 
dom which gives exemption from the power of control of one over 
another, or, in other words, the self-limiting of themselves, in their 
acts, by a recognition of the rights of others who are equally free. 
The idea and origin of the school being laid down, and also the 
means by which scholarship can be realized in the individual, the 
student is left to form his own conduct, both during session hours 
and while away from school. The teacher merely stands between 
this scholastic idea and the studeut's own partial conception of it, 
as expositor or interpreter. The teacher is not legislator, executor 
or police officer; he is expounder of the true idea of school law, so 
that the only test of the student's conduct is obedience to, or 
nonconformity with, that law as interpreted by the teacher. This 
idea once inculcated in the minds of the students, insures industry, 
punctuality and order. 


This institution was organized Sept. 16, 1873, with 35 students 
in attendance. The school occupied the building known as the 
Valparaiso Male and Female College building. Four teachers 


were employed. The attendance, so small at first, increased rap- 
idly and steadily, until at the present writing, the seventh year 
in the history of the school, the yearly enrollment is more than 
three thousand. The number of instructors now employed is 23. 

From time to time, additions have been made to the school 
buildings, and numerous boarding halls have been erected, so that 
now the value of the buildings and grounds owned by the school 
is one hundred thousand dollars. 

A large library has been collected, and a complete equipment of 
philosophical and chemical apparatus has been purchased. The 
department of physiology is supplied with skeletons, manikins, 
and everything necessary to the demonstration of each branch of 
the subject. A large cabinet is provided for the study of geology. 
In fact, each department of the school is completely furnished 
with the apparatus needed for the most approved presentation of 
every subject. 

There are 15 chartered departments in the institution. These 
are in charge of thorough, energetic, and scholarly instructors, and 
send forth each year as graduates, a large number of finely cultured 
young ladies and gentlemen, living testimonials of the efficiency 
of the course of study and the methods used. 

The Commercial College in connection with the school is in itself 
a great institution. It is finely fitted up and furnished, and ranks 
foremost among the business colleges of the United States. 

The expenses for tuition, room and board, have been made so 
low that an opportunity for obtaining a thorough education is 
presented to the poor and the rich alike. 

All of this work has been accomplished in the short space of 
seven years. The school now holds a high place among educational 
institutions, and is the largest normal school in the United States. 

This wonderful growth and devolopment is wholly due to the 
energy and faithfulness of its teachers, and the unparalleled exec- 
utive ability of its proprietor and principal. The school is not 


Nor is Indiana behind in literary institutions under denomina- 
tional auspices. It is not to be understood, however, at the present 
day, that sectarian doctrines are insisted upon at the so-called 
" denominational" colleges, universities and seminaries; the youth at 
these places are influenced only by Christian example. 


Notre Dame University, near South Bend, is a Catholic institu- 
tion, and is one of the most noted in the United States. It was 
founded in 1842 by Father Sorin. The first building was erected 
in 1843, and the university has continued to grow and prosper until 
the present time, now having 35 professors, 26 instructors, 9 tutors, 
213 students and 12,000 volumes in library. At present the main 
building has a frontage of 224 feet and a depth of 155. Thousands 
of young people have received their education here, and a large 
number have been graduated for the priesthood. A chapter was 
held here in 1872, attended by delegates from all parts of the world. 
It is worthy of mention that this institution has a bell weighing 
13,000 pounds, the largest in the United States and one of the finest 
in the world. 

The Indiana Asbury University, at Greencastle, is an old and 
well-established institution under the auspices of the Methodist 
Episcopal Church, named after its first bishop, Asbury. It was 
founded in 1835, and in 1872 it had nine professors and 172 

Howard College, not denominational, is located at Kokomo, and 
was founded in 1869. In 1872 it had five professors, four instructors, 
and 69 students. 

Union Christian College, Christian, at Merom, was organized in 
1858, and in 1872 had four resident professors, seven instructors 
and 156 students. 

Moore'' s Hill College, Methodist Episcopal, is situated at Moore's 
Hill, was founded in 1854, and in 1872 had five resident professors, 
five instructors, and 142 students. 

EarlhanCs College, at Richmond, is under the management of 
the Orthodox Friends, and was founded in 1859. In 1872 they 
had six resident professors and 167 students, and 3,300 volumes in 

Wabash College, at Crawfordsville, was organized in 1834, and 
had in 1872, eight professors and teachers, and 231 students, with 
about 12,000 volumes in the library. It is under Presbyterian 

Concordia College, Lutheran, at Fort Wayne, was founded in 
1850; in 1871; it had four professors and 148 students: 3,000 volumes 
in library. 

Hanover College, Presbyterian, was organized in 1833, at Han- 
over, and in 1872 had seven professors and 118 students, and 7,000 
volumes in library. 


Hartsville University, United Brethren, at Hartsville, was 
founded in 1854, and in 1872 had seven professors and 117 students. 

Northwestern Christian University, Disciples, is located at 
Irvington, near Indianapolis. It was founded in 1854, and by 
1872 it had 15 resident professors, 181 students, and 5,000 volumes 
in library. 


By the year 1830, the influx of paupers and invalid persons was 
so great that the Governor called upon the Legislature to take 
steps toward regulating the matter, and also to provide an asylum 
for the poor, but that body was very slow to act on the matter. 
At the present time, however, there is no State in the Union which 
can boast a better system of benevolent institutions. The Benevo- 
lent Society of Indianapolis was organized in 1843. It was a 
pioneer institution ; its field of work was small at first, but it has 
grown into great usefulness. 


In behalf of the blind, the first effort was made by James M. Ray, 
about 1846. Through his efforts William H. Churchman came 
from Kentucky with blind pupils and gave exhibitions in Mr. 
Beecher's church, in Indianapolis. These entertainments were 
attended by members of the Legislature, for whom indeed they 
were especially intended; and the effect upon them was so good, 
that before they adjourned the session they adopted measures to es- 
tablish an asylum for the blind. The commission appointed to carry 
out these measures, consisting of James M. Ray, Geo. W. Mears, 
and the Secretary, Treasurer and Auditor of State, engaged Mr. 
Churchman to make a lecturing tour through the State and collect 
statistics of the blind population. 

The " Institute for the Education of the Blind " was founded by 
the Legislature of 1847, and first opened in a rented building Oct. 
1, of that year. The permanent buildings were opened and occu- 
pied in February, 1853. The original cost of the buildings and 
ground was $110,000, and the present valuation of buildings and 
grounds approximates $300,000. The main building is 90 .' et 
long by 61 deep, and with its right and left wings, each 30 feet in 
front and 83 in depth, give an entire frontage of 150 feet. The 
main building is five stories in height, surmounted by a cupola qf 


the Corinthian style, while each wing is similarly overcapped 
The porticoes, cornices and verandahs are gotten up with exquisite 
taste, and the former are molded after the principle of Ionic archi- 
tecture. The building is very favorably situated, and occupies a 
space of eight acres. 

The nucleus of a fund for supplying indigent graduatss of the 
institution with an outfit suitable to their trades, or with money in 
lieu thereof, promises to meet with many additions. The fund is 
the out-come of the benevolence of Mrs. Fitzpatrick, a resident of 
Delaware, in this State, and appears to be suggested by the fact 
that her daughter, who was smitten with blindness, studied as a 
pupil in the institute, and became singularly attached to many of 
its inmates. The following passage from the lady's will bears 
testimony not only to her own sympathetic nature but also to the 
efficiency of the establishment which so won her esteem. " I give 
to each of the following persons, friends and associates of my blind 
daughter, Margaret Louisa, the sum of $100 to each, to wit, viz: 
Melissa and Phoebe Garrettson, Frances Cundiff, Dallas Newland, 
Naomi Unthunk, and a girl whose name before marriage was 
Rachel Martin, her husband's name not recollected. The balance 
of my estate, after paying the expenses of administering, I give to 
the superintendent of the blind asylum and his successor, in trust, 
for the use and benefit of the indigent blind of Indiana who may 
attend the Indiana blind asylum, to be given to them on leaving 
in such sums as the superintendent may deem proper, but not more 
than $50 to any one person. I direct that the amount above direct- 
ed be loaned at interest, and the interest and principal be distributed 
as above, agreeably to the best judgment of the superintendent, 
so as to do the greatest good to the greatest number of blind 

The following rules, regulating the institution, after laying down 
in preamble that the institute is strictly an educational estab- 
lishment, having its main object the moral, intellectual and phys- 
ical training of the young blind of the State, and is not an asylum 
for the aged and helpless, nor an hospital wherein the diseases of 
the eye may be treated, proceed as follows: 

1. The school year commences the first "Wednesday after the 
15th day of September, and closes on the last Wednesday in June, 
showing a session of 40 weeks, and a vacation term of 84 days. 

2. Applicants for admission must be from 9 to 21 years of age; 
but the trustees have power to admit blind students under 9 or 


over 21 years of age; but this power is extended only in very 
extreme cases. 

3. Imbecile or unsound persons, or confirmed imraoralists, 
cannot be admitted knowingly; neither can admitted pupils who 
prove disobedient or incompetent to receive instruction be retained 
on the roll. 

4. No charge is made for the instruction and board given to 
pupils from the State of Indiana; and even those without the State 
have only to pay $200 for board and education during the 40 weeks* 

5. An abundant and good supply of comfortable clothing for 
both summer and winter wear, is an indispensable adjunct of the 

6. The owner's name must be distinctly marked on each article 
of clothing. 

7. In cases of extreme indigence the institution may provide 
clothing and defray the traveling expenses of such pupil and levy the 
amount so expended on the county wherein his or her home is 

8. The pupil, or friends of the pupil, must remove him or her 
from the institute during the annual vacation, and in case of their 
failure to do so, a legal provision enables the superintendent to 
forward such pupil to the trustee of the township where he or she 
resides, and the expense of such transit and board to be charged to 
the county. 

9. Friends of the pupils accompanying them to the institution, 
or visiting them thereat, cannot enter as boarders or lodgers. 

10. Letters to the pupils should be addressed to the care of the 
Superintendent of the Institute for the Education of the Blind, so as 
the better to insure delivery. 

11. Persons desirous of admission of pupils should apply to the 
superintendent for a printed copy of instructions, and no pupil 
should be sent thereto until the instructions have been complied 


In 1843 the Governor was also instructed to obtain plans and 
information respecting the care of mutes, and the Legislature also 
levied a tax to provide for them. The first one to agitate the subject 
was "William "Willard, himself a mute, who visited Indiana in 1843, 
and opened a school for mutes on his own account, with 16 pupils. 


The next year the Legislature adopted this school as a State insti- 
tution, appointing a Board of Trustees for its management, consist- 
ing of the Governor and Secretary of State, ex-officio,and Revs. Henry 
Ward Beecher, Phineas D. Gurley, L. H. Jameson, Dr. Dunlap, 
Hon. James Morrison and Rev. Matthew Simpson. They rented the 
large building on the southeast comer of Illinois and Maryland 
streets, and opened the first State asylum there in 1844; but in 1846, 
a site for a permanent building just east of Indianapolis was selected, 
consisting first of 30 acres, to which 100 more have been added. 
On this site the two first structures were commenced in 1849, and 
completed in the fall of 1850, at a cost of $30,000. The school 
was immediately transferred to the new building, where it is still 
flourishing, with enlarged buildings and ample facilities for instruc- 
tion in agriculture. In 1869-'70, another building was erected, 
and the three together now constitute one of the most benefi- 
cent and beautiful institutions to be found on this continent, at 
an aggregate cost of $220,000. The main building has a facade of 
260 feet. Here are the offices, study rooms, the quarters of officers 
and teachers, the pupils' dormitories and the library. The center 
of this building has a frontage of eighty feet, and is five stories high, 
with wings on either side 60 feet in frontage. In this Central 
structure are the store rooms, dining-hall, servants' rooms, hospital, 
laundry, kitchen, bakery and several school-rooms. Another struct- 
ure known as the " rear building " contains the chapel and another 
6et of school-rooms. It is two stories high, the center being 50 feel 
square and the wings 40 by 20 feet. In addition to these there are 
many detached buildings, containing the shops of the industrial 
department, the engine-house and wash-house. 

The grounds comprise 105 acres, which in the immediate vicinity 
of the buildings partake of the character of ornamental or pleasure 
gardens, comprising a space devoted to fruits, flowers and veget- 
ables, while the greater part is devoted to pasture and agriculture. 

The first instructor in the institution was Wm. Willard, a deaf 
mute, who had up to 1844 conducted a small school for the instruc- 
tion of the deaf at Indianapolis, and now is employed by the State, 
at a salary of $800 per annum, to follow a similar vocation in its 
service. In 1853 he was succeeded by J. S. Brown, and subse- 
quently by Thomas Mclntire, who continues principal of the 



The Legislature of 1832-'3 adopted measures providing for a 
State hospital for the insane. This good work would have been 
done much earlier had it not been for the hard times of 1837, 
intensified by the results of the gigantic scheme of internal improve- 
ment. In order to survey the situation and awaken public sympa- 
thy, the county assessors were ordered to make a return of the 
insane in their respective counties. During the year 1842 the 
Governor, acting under the direction of the Legislature, procured 
considerable information in regard to hospitals for the insane in 
other States; and Dr. John Evans lectured before the Legislature 
on the subject of insanity and its treatment. As a result of these 
efforts the authorities determined to take active steps for the estab- 
lishment of such a hospital. Plans and suggestions from the 
superintendents and hospitals of other States were submitted to the 
Legislature in 1844, which body ordered the levy of a tax of one 
cent on the $100 for the purpose of establishing the hospital. In 
1845 a commission was appointed to obtain a site not exceeding 
200 acres. Mount Jackson, then the residence of Nathaniel Bolton, 
was selected, and the Legislature in 1S46 ordered the commissioners 
to proceed with the erection of the building. Accordingly, in 
1847, the central building was completed, at a cost of $75,000. It 
has since been enlarged by the addition of wings, some of which 
are larger than the old central building, until it has become an 
immense structure, having cost over half a million dollars. 

The wings of the main building are four stories high, and entirely 
devoted to wards for patients, being capable of accommodating 

The grounds of the institution comprise 160 acres, and, like 
those of the institute for the deaf and dumb, are beautifully laid 

This hospital was opened for the reception of patients in 1848. 
The principal structure comprises what is known as the central 
building and the right and left wings, and like the institute for the 
deaf and dumb, erected at various times and probably under various 
adverse circumstances, it certainly does not hold the appearance of 
any one design, but seems to be a combination of many. Not- 
withstanding these little defects in arrangement, it presents a very 
imposing appearance, and shows what may be termed a frontage 


of 624 feet. The central building is five stories in height and eon- 
tains the store-rooms, offices, reception parlors, medical dispensing 
rooms, mess-rooms and the apartments of the superintendent and 
other officers, with those of the female employes. Immediately 
in the rear of the central building, and connected with it by a 
corridor, is the chapel, a building 50 by 60 feet. This chapel 
occupies the third floor, while the under stories hold the kitchen, 
bakery, employes' dining-room, steward's office, employes' apart- 
ments and sewing rooms. In rear of this again is the engine- 
house, 60 by 50 feet, containing all the paraphernalia for such an 
establishment, such as boilers, pumping works, fire plugs, hose, 
and above, on the second floor, the laundry and apartments of male 
em flojes. 


The first penal institution of importance is known as the " State 
I'rison South," located at Jeffersonville, and was the only prison 
until 1859. It was established in 1821. Before that time it was 
customary to resort to the old-time punishment of the whipping- 
post. Later the manual labor system was inaugurated, and the 
convicts were hired out to employers, among whom were Capt. 
Westover, afterward killed at Alamo, Texas, with Crockett, James 
Keigwin, who in an affray was fired at and severely wounded by a 
convict named Williams, Messrs. Patterson Hensley, and Jos. 
R. Pratt. During the rule of the latter of these lessees, the atten- 
tion of the authorities was turned to a more practical method of 
utilizing convict labor; and instead of the prisoners being per- 
mitted to serve private entries, their work was turned in the direc- 
tion of their own prison, where for the next few years they were 
employed in erecting the new buildings now known as the " State 
Prison South." This structure, the result of prison labor, stands 
on 16 acres of ground, and comprises the cell houses and work- 
shops, together with the prisoners' garden, or pleasure-ground. 

It seems that in the erection of these buildings the aim of the 
overseers was to create so many petty dungeons and un ventilated 
laboratories, into which disease in every form would be apt to 
creep. This fact was evident from the high mortality character- 
izing life within the prison; and in the efforts made by the 
Government to remedy a state of things which had been permitted 
to exist far too long, the advance in prison reform has become a 
reality. T^rom 1857 to 1871 the labor of the prisoners was devoted 


to the manufacture of wagons and farm implements; and again the 
old policy of hiring the convicts was resorted to; for in the latter 
year, 1871, the Southwestern Car Company was organized, and 
every prisoner capable of taking a part in the work of car-building 
was leased out. This did very well until the panic of 1873, when 
the company suffered irretrievable losses; and previous to its final 
down-fall in 1876 the warden withdrew convict labor a second time, 
leaving the prisoners to enjoy a luxurious idleness around the 
prison which themselves helped to raise. 

In later years the State Prison South has gained some notoriety 
from the desperate character of some of its inmates. During the 
civil war a convict named Harding mutilated in a most horrible 
manner and ultimately killed one of the jailors named Tesley. In 
1874, two prisoners named Kennedy and Applegate, possessing 
themselves of some arms, and joined by two other convicts named 
Port and Stanley, made a break for freedom, swept past the guard, 
Chamberlain, and gained the fields. Chamberlain went in pursuit 
but had not gone very far when Kennedy turned on his pursuer, 
fired and killed him instantly. Subsequently three of the prisoners 
were captured alive and one of them paid the penalty of death, 
while Kennedy, the murderer of Chamberlain, failing committal for 
murder, was sent back to his old cell to spend the remainder of his 
life. Bill Rodifer, better known as " The Hoosier Jack Sheppard," 
effected his escape in 1875, in the very presence of a large guard, 
but was recaptured and has since been kept in irons. 

This establishment, owing to former mismanagement, has fallen 
very much behind, financially, and has asked for and received an 
appropriation of $20,000 to meet its expenses, while the contrary 
is the case at the Michigan City prison. 


In 1859 the first steps toward the erection of a prison in the 
northern part of the State were taken, and by an act of the Legis- 
lature approved March 5, this year, authority was given to construct 
prison buildings at some point north of the National road. For this 
purpose $50,000 were appropriated, and a large number of convicts 
from the Jefferson ville prison were transported northward to 
Michigan City, which was just selected as the location for the new 
penitentiary. The work was soon entered upon, and continued to 
meet with additions and improvements down to a very recent 
period. gk> late as 1875 the Legislature appropriated $20,000 


toward the construction of new cells, and in other directions also 
the work of improvement has been going on. The system of 
government and discipline is similar to that enforced at the Jeffer- 
son ville prison; and, strange to say, by its economical working has 
not only met the expenses of the administration, but very recently 
had amassed over $11,000 in excess of current expenses, from its 
annual savings. This is due almost entirely to the continual 
employment of the convicts in the manufacture of cigars and 
chairs, and in their great prison industry, cooperage. It differs 
widely from the Southern, insomuch as its sanitary condition has 
been above the average of similar institutions. The strictness of its 
silent system is better enforced. The petty revolutions of its 
inmates have been very few and insignificant, and the number of 
punishments inflicted comparatively small. From whatever point 
this northern prison may be looked at, it will bear a very favorable 
comparison with the largest and best administered of like establish- 
ments throughout the world, and cannot fail to bring high credit to 
its Board of Directors and its able warden. 


The prison reform agitation which in this State attained telling 
proportions in 1869, caused a Legislative measure to be brought 
forward, which would have a tendency to ameliorate the condition 
of female convicts. Gov. Baker recommended it to the General 
Assembly, and the members of that body showed their appreciation 
of the Governor's philanthropic desire by conferring upon the bill 
the authority of a statute; and further, appropriated $50,000 to aid 
in carrying out the objects of the act. The main provisions con- 
tained in the bill may be set forth in the following extracts from 
the proclamation of the Governor: 

" Whenever said institution shall have been proclaimed to De 
open for the reception of girls in the reformatory department 
thereof, it shall be lawful for said Board of Managers to receive 
them into their care and management, and the said reformatory 
department, girls under the age of 15 years who may be committed 
to their custody, in either of the following modes, to- wit: 

" 1. When committed by any judge of a Circuit or Common 
Pleas Court, either in term time or in vacation, on complaint and 
due proof by the parent or guardian that by reason of her incorrig- 
ible or vicious conduct she has rendered her control beyond the 
power of such parent or guardian, and made it manifestly requisite 


that from regard to the future welfare of such infant, and for the 
protection of society, she should be placed under such guardianship. 

" 2. When such infant has been committed by such judge, as 
aforesaid, upon complaint by any citizen, and due proof of such 
complaint that such infant is a proper subject of the guardianship 
of such institution in consequence of her vagrancy or incorrigible 
or vicious conduct, and that from the moral depravity or other- 
wise of her parent or guardian in whose custody she may be, 
such parent or guardian is incapable or unwilling to exercise the 
proper care or discipline over such incorrigible or vicious infant. 

" 3. When such infant has been committed by such judge as 
aforesaid, on complaint and due proof thereof by the township 
trustee of the township where such infant resides, that such infant 
is destitute of a suitable home and of adequate means of obtaining 
an honest living, or that she is in danger of being brought up to 
lead an idle and immoral life." 

In addition to these articles of the bill, a formal section of 
instruction to the wardens of State prisons was embodied in the 
act, causing such wardens to report the number of all the female 
convicts under their charge and prepare to have them transferred 
to the female reformatory immediately after it was declared to be 
ready for their reception. After the passage of the act the 
Governor appointed a Board of Managers, and these gentlemen, 
securing the services of Isaac Hodgson, caused him to draft a plan 
of the proposed institution, and further, on his recommendation, 
asked the people -for an appropriation of another $50,000, which 
the Legislature granted in February, 1873. The work of construc- 
tion was then entered upon and carried out so steadily, that on the 
6th of September, 1873, the building was declared ready for the 
reception of its future inmates. Gov. Baker lost no time in 
proclaiming this fact, and October 4 he caused the wardens of the 
State prisons to be instructed to transfer all the female convicts in 
their custody to the new institution which may be said to rest on 
the advanced intelligence of the age. It is now called the 
" Indiana Reformatory Institution for Women and Girls." 

This building is located immediately north of the deaf and 
dumb asylum, near the arsenal, at Indianapolis. It is a three- 
story brick structure in the French style, and shows a frontage of 
174 feet, comprising a main building, with lateral and transverse 
wings. In front of the central portion is the residence of the 
superintendent and his associate reformatory officers, while in the 


rear is the engine house, with all the ways and means for heating 
the buildings. Enlargements, additions and improvements are 
still in progress. There is also a school and library in the main 
building, which are sources of vast good. 

October 31, 1879, there were 66 convicts in the " penal" depart- 
ment and 147 in the " girls' reformatory " department. The 
" ticket-of-leave " system has been adopted, with entire satisfaction, 
and the conduct of the institution appears to be up with the 


In 1867 the Legislature appropriated $50,000 to aid in the 
formation of an institution to be entitled a house for the correction 
and reformation of juvenile defenders, and vested with full powers 
in a Board of Control, the members of which were to be appointed 
by the Governor, and with the advice and consent of the Senate. 
This Board assembled at the Governor's house at Indianapolis, 
April 3, 1867, and elected Charles F. Coffin, as president, and 
visited Chicago, so that a visit to the reform school there might 
lead to a fuller knowledge and guide their future proceedings. 
The House of Refuge at Cincinnati, and the Ohio State Reform 
school were also visited with this design; and after full consider- 
ation of the varied governments of these institutions, the Board 
resolved to adopt the method known as the " family " system, 
which divides the inmates into fraternal bodies, or small classes, 
each class having a separate house, house father and family offices, 
— all under the control of a general superintendent. The system 
being adopted, the question of a suitable location next presented 
itself, and proximity to a large city being considered rather 
detrimental to the welfare of such an institution, Gov. Baker 
selected the site three-fourths of a mile south of Plainfield, and 
about fourteen miles from Indianapolis, which, in view of its 
eligibility and convenience, was fully concurred in by the Board 
of Control. Therefore, a farm of 225 acres, claiming a fertile soil 
and a most picturesque situation, and possessing streams of running 
water, was purchased, and on a plateau in its center a site for the 
proposed house of refuge was fixed. 

The next movement was to decide upon a plan, which ultimately 
met the approval of the Governor. It favored the erection of one 
principal building, one house for a reading-room and hospital, two 
large mechanical shops and eight family houses. January 1, 1868, 


three family houses and work-shop were completed; in 1869 the 
main building, and one additional family house were added; but 
previous to this, in August, 1867. a Mr. Frank P. Ains worth and 
his wife were appointed by the Board, superintendent and matron 
respectively, and temporary quarters placed at their disposal. In 
1869 they of course removed to the new building. This is 64 by 
128 feet, and three stories high. In its basement are kitchen, 
laundry and vegetable cellar. The first floor is devoted to offices, 
visitors' room, house father and family dining-room and store- 
rooms. The general superintendent's private apartments, private 
offices and five dormitories for officers occupy the second floor; 
while the third floor is given up to the assistant superintendent's 
apartment, library, chapel and hospital. 

The family houses are similar in style, forming rectangular build- 
ings 36 by 58 feet. The basement of each contains a furnace 
room, a store-room and a large wash-room, which is converted into 
a play-room during inclement weather. On the first floor of each 
of these buildings are two rooms for the house father and his 
family, and a school-room, which is also convertible into a sitting- 
room for the boys. On the third floor is a family dormitory, a 
clothes-room and a room for the " elder brother," who ranks next 
to the house father. And since the reception of the first boy, from 
Hendricks county, January 23, 1868, the house plan has proved 
equally convenient, even as the management has proved efficient. 

Other buildings have since been erected. 



After arriving and selecting a suitable location, the next tiiiug 
to do was to build a log cabin, a description of which may be in- 
teresting to many of our younger readers, as in some sections those 
old-time structures are no more to be seen. Trees of uniform size 
were chosen and cut into logs of the desired length, generally 12 
to 15 feet, and hauled to the spot selected for the future dwelling. 
On an appointed day the few neighbors who were available would 
assemble and have a "house-raising."' Each end of every log was 
saddled and notched so that they would lie as close down as possi- 
ble; the next day the proprietor would proceed to " chink and 
daub" the cabin, to keep out the rain, wind and cold. The house 
had to be re-daubed every fall, as the rains of the intervening time 
would wash out a great part of the mortar. The usual height of 
the house was seven or eight feet. The gables were formed by 
shortening the logs gradually at each end of the building near the 
top. The roof was made by laying very straight small logs or 
stout poles suitable distances apart, generally about two and a half 
feet from gable to gable, and on these poles were laid the "clap- 
boards" after the manner of shingling, showing about two and a 
half feet to the weather. These clapboards were fastened to their 
place by •'weight-poles,'* corresponding in place with the joists 
just described, and these again were held in their place by "runs" 
or "knees," which were chunks of wood about 18 or 20 inches long 
fitted between them near the ends. Clapboards were made from 
the nicest oaks iu the vicinity, by chopping or sawing them into 
four-foot blocks and riving these with a frow, which was a simple 
blade fiexd at right angles to its handle. This was driven into 
the blocks of wood by a mallet. As the frow was wrenched down 
through the wood, the latter was turned alternately over from sid« 
to side, one end being held by a forked piece of timber. 

The chimney of the Western pioneer's cabin was made by leaving 
in the original building a large open place in one wall, or by cut- 
ting one after the structure was up, and by building on the out- 
side from the ground up, a stone column, or a column' of sticks and 


mud. the sticks being laid up cob-house fashion. The fire-place 
thus made was often large enough to receive fire-wood six to ei^ht 
feet long. Sometimes this wood, especially the "back-log,' 1 would 
be nearly as large as a saw-log. The more rapidly the pioneer 
could burn up the wood in his vicinity the sooner he had his little 
farm cleared and ready for cultivation. For a window, a piece 
about two feet long was cut out of one of the wall logs, and the 
hole closed sometimes by glass, but generally with greased paper. 
Even greased deer-hide was sometimes used. A doorway was cut 
through one of the walls if a saw was to be had; otherwise the 
door would be left by shortened logs in the original building. The 
door was made by pinning clapboards to two or three wood bars, 
and was hung upon wooden hinges. A wooden latch, with catch, 
then finished the door, and the latch was raised by any one on the 
outside by pulling a leather string. For security at night this 
latch-string was drawn in : but for friends and neighbors, and even 
strangers, the "latch-string was always hanging out,' 1 as a welcome. 
In the interior, over the fire-place would be a shelf, called "the 
mantel, 1 ' on which stood the candlestick or lamp, some cooking and 
table-ware, possibly an old clock, and other articles; in the fire- 
place would be the crane, sometimes of iron, sometimes of wood — on 
it the pots were hung for cooking ; over the door, in forked cleats, 
hung the ever trustful rifle and powder-horn ; in one corner stood 
the larger bed for the "old folks," and under it the trundle-bed 
for the children; in another stood the old-fashioned spinning- 
wheel, with a smaller one by its side ; in another the heavy table, the 
only table, of course, there was in the house ; in the remaining cor- 
ner was a rude cupboard holding the table-ware, which consisted of 
a few cups and saucers and blue-edged plates, standing singly on 
their edges against the back, to make the display of table furniture 
more conspicuous; while around the room were scattered a few 
splint-bottomed or "Windsor chairs and two or three stools. 

These simple cabins were inhabited by a kind and true-hearted 
people. They were strangers to mock modesty, and the traveler, 
seeking lodgings for the night, or desirous of spending a few days 
in the community, if willing to accept the rude offering, was always 
welcome, although how they were disposed of at night the reader 
might not easily imagine ; for, as described, a single room was made 


to answer for kitchen, dining-room, sitting-room, bed-room and 
parlor, and many families consisted of six or eight members. 


The bed was very often made by fixing a post in the floor about 
six feet from one wall and four feet from the adjoining wall, and 
fastening a stick to this post about two feet above the floor, on 
each of two sides, so that the other end of each of the two sticks 
could be fastened in the opposite wall : clapboards were laid across 
these, and thus the bed was made complete. Guests were given 
this bed. while the family disposed of themselves in another corner 
of the room, or in the ■'loft."'' When several guests were on hand 
at once, they were sometimes kept overnight in the following 
manner: when bed-time came the men wore requested to step out 
of doors while the women spread out a broad bed upon the mid- 
floor, ami put themselves to bed in the center; the signal was given 
and the men came in and each husband took his place in bed next 
his own wife, and the single men outside beyond tliem again. They 
were generally so crowded that they had to lie "spoon" fashion, 
and when any one wished to turn over he would say "Spoon," and 
the whole company of sleepers would turn over at once. This 
was the only way they could all keep in tied. 


To witness the various processes of cooking in those days would 
alike surprise and amuse those who have grown up since cooking 
stoves and ranges came into use. Kettles were hung over the 
large tire, suspended with pot-hooks, iron or wooden, on the crane, 
or on poles, one end of which would rest upon a chair. The long- 
handled frying-pan was used for cooking meat. It was either held 
over the blaze by hand or set down upon coals drawn out upon 
the hearth. This pan was also used for baking pan-cakes, also 
called ;e flap- jacks," "batfcer-eakes," etc. A better article for this, 
however, was the cast-iron spider or Dutch skillet. The best 
thing for baking bread those days, and possibly even yet in these 
latter days, was the flat-bottomed bake kettle, of greater depth, 
with closely fitting cast-iron cover, and commonly known as the 
"Dutch-oven." With coals over and under it, bread and biscuit 


would quickly and nicely bake. Turkey and spare-ribs wei?& 
sometimes roasted before the fire, suspended by a string, a disli 
being placed underneath to catch the drippings. 

Hominy and samp were very much used. The hominy, how- 
ever, was generally hulled corn — boiled corn from which the hull, 
or bran, had been taken by hot lye; hence sometimes called "lye 
hominy." True hominy and samp were made of pounded corn. 
A popular method of making this, as well as real meal for bread, 
was to cut out or burn a large hole in the top of a huge stump, 
in the shape of a mortar, and pounding the corn in this by a maul 
or beetle suspended on the end of a swing pole, like a well-sweep. 
This and the well-sweep consisted of a pole 20 to 30 feet long, 
fixed in an upright fork, so that it could be worked "teeter" 
fashion. It was a rapid and simple way of drawing water. When 
the samp was sufficiently pounded it was taken out, the bran 
floated off, and the delicious grain boiled like rice. 

The chief articles of diet in early days were corn bread, hominy 
or samp, venison, pork, honey, beans, pumpkin (dried pumpkin for 
more than half the year ) , turkey, prairie chicken, squirrel and some 
other game, with a few additional vegetables a portion of the year. 
Wheat bread, tea, coffee and fruit were luxuries not to be indulged 
in except on special occasions, as when visitors were present. 

women's work. 

Besides cooking in the manner described, the women had many 
other arduous duties to perform, one of the chief of which was 
spinning. The "big wheel" was used for spinning yarn, and the 
"little wheel" for spinning flax. These stringed instruments fur- 
nished the principal music of the family, and were operated by 
our mothers and grandmothers with great skill, attained without 
pecuniary expense and with far less practice than is necessary for 
the girls of our period to acquire a skillful use of their costly and 
elegant instruments. But those wheels, indispensable a few years 
ago, are all now superseded by the mighty factories which over- 
spread the country, furnishing cloth of all kinds at an expense 
ten times less than would be incurred now by the old system. 

The loom was not less necessary than the wheel, though they 
were not needed in so great numbers. Not every house had a loom 


— one loom had a capacity for the needs of several families. Set- 
tlers having succeeded, in spite of the wolves, in raising sheep, 
commenced the manufacture of woolen cloth ; wool was carded and 
made into rolls by hand cards, and the rolls were spun on the 
"big wheel." We still occasionally find in the houses of old set- 
tlers a wheel of this kind, sometimes used for spinning and twist- 
ing stocking yarn. They are turned with the hand, and with such 
velocity that it will run itself while the nimble worker, by her 
backward step, draws out and twists her thread nearly the whole 
length of the cabin. A common article Asoven on the loom was 
linsey, or linsey-woolsey, the chain being linen and the filling 
woolen. The cloth was used for dresses for the women and girls. 
Nearly all the clothes worn by the men were also home-made ; 
rarely was a farmer or his son seen in a coat made of any other. 
If, occasionally, a young man appeared in a suit of "boughten" 
clothes, he was suspected of having gotten it for a particular 
occasion, which occurs in the life of nearly every young man. 


The dress, habits, etc., of a people throw so much light upon 
their conditions and limitations that, in order better to show the 
circumstances surrounding the people of the State, we will give a 
short exposition of the manner of life of our Western people at 
different epochs. The Indians themselves are credited by Charle- 
voix with being "very laborious," — raising poultry, spinning the 
wool of the buffalo, and manufacturing garments therefrom. 
These must have been, however, more than usually favorable 
representatives of their race. 

"The working and voyaging dress of the French masses." says 
Reynolds, "was simple and primitive. The French were like the 
lilies of the valley [the Old Ranger was not always exact in his 
quotations], — they neither spun nor wove any of their clothing, 
but purchased it from the merchants. The white blanket coat, 
known as the capof, was the universal and eternal coat for the 
winter with the masses. A cape was made of it that could be 
raised over the head in cold weather. 

"In the house, and in good weather, it hung behind, a cape to 
the blanket coat. The reason that I know these coats so well is 


that I have worn many in my youth, and a working man never 
wore a better garment. Dressed deer-skins and blue cloth were 
worn commonly in the winter for pantaloons. The blue handker- 
chief and the deer-skin moccasins covered the head and feet gen- 
erally of the French Creoles. In 1800 scarcely a man thought 
himself clothed unless he had a belt tied round his blanket coat, 
and on one side was hung the dressed skin of a pole-cat filled with 
tobacco, pipe, flint and steel. On the other side was fastened, 
under the belt, the butcher knife. A Creole in this dress felt like 
Tarn O'Shanter filled with usquebaugh — he could face the devil. 
Checked calico shirts were then common, but in winter flannel 
was frequently worn. In the summer the laboring men and the 
voyageurs often took their shirts off in hard work and hot weather, 
and turned out the naked back to the air and sun." 

"Among the Americans, 1 ' he adds, "home-made wool hats were 
the common wear. Fur hats were not common, and scarcely a 
boot was seen. The covering of the feet in winter was chiefly 
moccasins made of deer-skirr. and shoe-packs of tanned leather. 
Some wore shoes, but not common in very early times. In the 
summer the greater portion of the young people, male and female, 
and many of the old, went barefoot. The substantial and uni- 
versal outside wear was the blue linsey hunting shirt. This is an 
excellent garment, and I have never felt so happy and healthy 
since I laid it off. It is made of wide sleeves, open before, with 
ample size so as to envelop the body almost twice around. Some- 
times it had a large cape, which answers well to save the shoulders 
from the rain. A belt is mostly used to keep the garment close 
around the person, and, nevertheless, there is nothing tight about 
it to hamper the body. It is often fringed, and at times the fringe 
is composed of red, and other gay colors. The belt, frequently, 
is sewed to the hunting shirt. The vest was mostly made of 
striped linsey. The colors were made often with alum, copperas 
and madder, boiled with the bark of trees, in such a manner and 
proportions as the old ladies prescribed. The pantaloons of the 
masses were generally made of deer-skin and linsey. Coarse blue 
cloth was sometimes made into pantaloons. 

"Linsey, neat and fine, manufactured at home, composed gener- 
ally the outside garments of the females as well as the males. 


The ladies had linsey colored and woven to suit their fancy. A 
bonnet, composed of calico, or some gay goods, was worn on the head 
when they were in the open air. Jewelry on the pioneer ladies 
was uncommon; a gold ring was an ornament not often seen." 

In 1820 a change of dress began to take place, and before 1830, 
according to Ford, most of the pioneer costume had disappeared. 
" The blue linsey hunting-shiA. with red or white fringe, had given 
place to the cloth coat. [Jeans would be more like the fact. J The 
raccoon cap, with the tail of the animal dangling down behind, had 
been thrown aside for hats of wool or fur. Boots and shoes had sup- 
planted the deer-skin moccasins; and leather breeches, strapped 
tight around the ankle, had disappeared before unmentionables of a 
more modern material. The female sex had made still greater prog- 
ress in dress. The old sort of cotton or woolen frocks, spun, woven 
and made with their own fair hands, and striped and cross-barred 
with blue dye and Turkey red, had given place to gowns of silk and 
calico. The feet, before in a state of nudity, now charmed in shoes 
of calf -skin or slippers of kid ; and the head, formerly unbonneted, 
but covered with a cotton handkerchief, now displayed the charms 
of the female face under many forms of bonnets of straw, silk and 
Leghorn. The young ladies, instead of walking a mile or two to 
church on Sunday, carrying their shoes and stockings in their hands 
until within a hundred yards of the place of worship, as formerly, 
now came forth arrayed complete in all the pride of dress, mounted 
on fine horses and attended by their male admirers." 

The last half century has doubtless witnessed changes quite as 
great as those set forth by our Illinois historian. The chronicler 
of to-day, looking back to the golden days of 1830 to 1840, and 
comparing them with the present, must be struck with the tend- 
ency of an almost monotonous uniformity in dress and manners 
that comes from the easy inter-communication afforded by steamer, 
railway, telegraph and newspaper. Home manufactures have 
been driven from the household by the lower-priced fabrics of 
distant mills. The Kentucky jeans, and the copperas-colored 
clothing of home manufacture, so familiar a few years ago, have 
given place to the cassimeres and cloths of noted factories. The 
ready-made clothing stores, like a touch of nature, made the whole 
world kin, and may d~npe the charcoal man in a dress-coat and a 


stove-pipe hat. The prints and silks of England and France give 
a variety of choice and an assortment of colors and shades such as 
the pioneer women could hardly have dreamed of. Godey and 
Demorest and Harper's Bazar are found in our modern farm- 
houses, and the latest fashions of Paris are not uncommon. 


The Methodists were generally first on the ground in pioneer 
settlements, and at that early day they seemed more demonstrative 
in their devotions than at the present time. In those days, too, 
pulpit oratory was generally more eloquent and effective, while 
the grammatical dress and other "worldly" accomplishments were 
not so assiduously cultivated as at present. But in the manner 
of conducting public worship there has probably not been so much 
change as in that of family worship, or "family prayers" as it was 
often called. We had then most emphatically an American edi- 
tion of that pious old Scotch practice so eloquently described in 
Burns' "Cotter's Saturday Night:" 

The cheerfu' supper done, wi' serious face 
They round the ingle formed a circle wide; 

The sire turns o'er, wi' patriarchal grace, 
The big ha' Bible, ance his father's pride; 

His bonnet rev'rently is laid aside. 
His lyart haffets wearing thin and bare; 

Those strains that once did in sweet Zion glide; 
He wales a portion witli judicious care, 
And "let us worship God," lie says with solemn air. 

They chant their artless notes in simple guise; 

They tune their hearts, — by far the noblest aim; 
Perhaps "Dundee's" wild warbling measures rise, 

Or plaintive "Martyr's," worthy of the name; 
Or noble "Elgin" beats the heavenward flame, — 

The sweetest far of Scotia's hallowed lays. 
Compared with these, Italian trills are tame; 

The tickled ear no heart-felt raptures raise: 

Nae unison hae they with our Creator's praise. 

The priest-like father reads the sacred page, — 
How Abraham was the friend of God on high, etc. 

Then kneeling down, to heaven's Eternal King 
The saint, the father and the husband- prays; 

Hope "springs exulting on triumphant wing," 
That thus they all shall meet in future days; 


There ever bask in uncreated rays, 

No more to sigh or shed the bitter tear, 
Together hymning their Crealor's praise, 

In such society, yet still more dear. 

While circling time moves round in an eternal sphere. 

Once or twice a day, in the morning just before breakfast, or 
in the evening just before retiring to rest, the head of the family 
would call those around him to order, read a chapter in the Bible, 
announce the hymn and tune by commencing to sing it, when all 
would join; then he would deliver a most fervent prayer. If a 
pious guest were present he would be called on to take the lead in 
all the exercises of the evening ; and if in those days a person who 
prayed in the family or in public did not pray as if it were his 
very last on earth, his piety was thought to be defective. 

The familiar tunes of that day are remembered by the surviving 
old settlers as being more spiritual and inspiring than those of the 
present day, such as Bourbon, Consolation, China, Canaan, Con- 
quering Soldier, Condescension, Devotion, Davis, Fiducia, Funeral 
Thought, Florida, Golden Hill, Greenfields, Ganges, Idumea, 
Imandra, Kentucky, Lenox, Leander, Mear, New Orleans, North- 
field, New Salem, New Durham, Olney), Primrose, Pisgah, Pleyel's 
Hymn, Rockbridge, Rockingham, Reflection, Supplication, Salva- 
tion, St. Thomas, Salem, Tender Thought, Windham, Greenville, 
etc., as they are named in the Missouri Harmony. 

Members of other orthodox denominations also had their family 
prayers in which, however, the phraseology of the prayer was 
somewhat different and the voice not so loud as characterized the 
real Methodists, United Brethren, etc. 


The traveler always found a welcome at the pioneer's cabin. 
It was never full. Although there might be already a guest for 
every puncheon, there was still "room for one more," and a wider 
circle would be made for the new-comer at the log fire. If the 
stranger was in search of land, he was doubly welcome, and his 
host would volunteer to show him all the "first-rate claims in this 
neck of the woods," going with him for days, showing the corners 
and advantages of every "Congress tract" within a dozen miles of 
his own cabin. 


To his neighbors the pioneer was equally liberal. If a deer 
was killed, the choicest bits were sent to his nearest neighbor, a 
half-dozen miles away, perhaps. When a "shoat" was butchered, 
the same custom prevailed. If a new-comer came in too late for 
"cropping," the neighbors would supply his table with just the 
same luxuries they themselves enjoyed, and in as liberal quantity, 
until a crop could be raised. When a new-comer had located his 
claim, the neighbors for miles around would assemble at the site 
of the new-comer's proposed cabin and aid him in "gittin' " it up. 
One party with axes would cut down the trees and hew the logs ; 
another with teams would haul the logs to the ground; another 
party would "raise" the cabin; while several of the old men would 
"rive the clapboards" for the roof. By night the little forest 
domicile would be up and ready for a "house-warming," which was 
the dedicatory occupation of the house, when music and dancing 
and festivity would be enjoyed at full height. The next day the 
new-comer would be as well situated as his neighbors. 

An instance of primitive hospitable manners will be in place 
here. A traveling Methodist preacher arrived in a distant neigh- 
borhood to fill an appointment. The house where services were 
to be held did not belong to a church member, but no matter for 
that. Boards were raked up from all quarters with which to make 
temporary seats, one of the neighbors volunteering to lead off in 
the work, while the man of the house, with the faithful rifle on his 
shoulder, sallied forth in quest of meat, for this truly was a 
"ground-hog" case, the preacher coming and no meat in the house. 
The Aost ceased not the chase until he found the meat, in the shape 
of a deer; returning, he sent a boy out after it, with directions on 
what "pint" to find it. After services, which had been listened to 
with rapt attention by all the audience, mine host said to his wife, 
"Old woman, I reckon this 'ere preacher is pretty hungry and you 
must git him a bite to eat." "What shall I git him?" asked the 
wife, who had not seen the deer; "thar's nuthin' in the house to 
eat." "Why, look thar," returned he; "thar's deer, and .thar's 
plenty of corn in the field ; you git some corn and grate it while I 
skin the deer, and we'll have a good supper for him." It is need- 
less to add that venison and corn bread made a supper fit for any 
pioneer preacher, and was thankfully eaten. 



In pioneer times the transactions of commerce were generally 
carried on by neighborhood exchanges. Now and then a farmer 
would load a flat-boat with beeswax, honey, tallow and peltries, 
with perhaps a few bushels of wheat or corn or a few hundred 
clapboards, and float down the rivers into the Ohio, and thence to 
New Orleans, where he would exchange his produce for substantials 
in the shape of groceries and a little ready money, with which he 
would return by some one of the two or three steamboats then run- 
ning. Betimes there appeared at the best steamboat landings a 
number of "middle men" engaged in the '"commission and for- 
warding'' business, buying up the farmers 1 produce and the tro- 
phies of the chase and the trap, and sending them to the various 
distant markets. Their winter's accumulations would be shipped 
in the spring, and the manufactured goods of the far East or dis- 
tant South would come back in return: and in all these transac- 
tions scarcely any money was seen or used. Goods were sold on 
a year's time to the farmers, and payment made from the proceeds 
of the ensuing crops. When the crops were sold and the merchant 
satisfied, the surplus was paid out in orders on the store to labor- 
ing men and to satisfy other creditors. When a day's work was 
done by a working man. his employer would ask, "Well, what 
store do you want your order on?" The answer being given, the 
order was written and always cheerfully accepted. 


Money was an article little known and seldom seen among the 
earlier settlers. Indeed, they had but little use for it, as they 
could transact all their business about as well without it, on the 
"barter" system, wherein great ingenuity was sometimes displayed. 
When it failed in any instance, long credits contributed to the 
convenience of the citizens. But for taxes and postage neither the 
barter nor the credit system would answer, and often letters were 
suffered to remain a long time in the postoffice for the want of the 
twenty-five cents demanded by the Government. With all this 
high price on postage, by the way, the letter had not been brought 
500 miles in a day or two, as the case is nowadays, but had prob- 
ably been weeks on the route, and the mail was delivered at the 
pioneer's postoffice, several miles distant from his residence, on!/ 


once in a week or two. All the mail would be carried by a lone 
horseman. Instances are related illustrating how misrepresenta- 
tion would be resorted to in order to elicit the sympathies of some 
one who was known to have "two bits" (25 cents) of money with 
him, and procure the required Governmental fee for 'a letter. 

Peltries came nearer being money than anything else, as it came 
to be custom to estimate the value of everything in peltries. Such 
an article was worth so many peltries. Even some tax collectors 
and postmasters were known to take peltries and exchange them 
for the money required by the Government. 

When the first settlers first came into the wilderness they gener- 
ally supposed that their hard struggle would be principally over 
after the first year; but alas! they often looked for "easier times 
next year 1 ' for many years before realizing them, and then they 
came in so slily as to be almost imperceptible. The sturdy pioneer 
thus learned to bear hardships, privation and hard living, as good 
soldiers do. As the facilities for making money were not great, 
they lived pretty well satisfied in an atmosphere of good, social, 
friendly feeling, and thought themselves as good as those they had 
left behind in the East. But among the early settlers who came 
to this State were many who, accustomed to the advantages of an 
older civilization, to churches, schools and society, became speed- 
ily home-sick and dissatisfied. They would remain perhaps one 
summer, or at most two, then, selling whatever claim with its im- 
provements they had made, would return to the older States, 
spreading reports of the hardships endured by the settlers here 
and the disadvantages which they had found, or imagined they had 
found, in the country. These weaklings were not an unmitigated 
curse. The slight improvements they had made were sold to men 
of sterner stuff, who were the sooner able to surround themselves 
with the necessities of life, while their unfavorable report deterred 
other weaklings from coming. The men who stayed, who were 
willing to endure privations, belonged to a different guild : they 
were heroes every one, — men to whom hardships were things to 
be overcome, and present privations things to be endured for the 
sake of posterity, and they never shrank from this duty. It is to 
these hardy pioneers who could endure, that we to-day owe the 
wonderful improvement we have made and the development, almost 


miraculous, that has brought our State in the past sixty years, from 
a wilderness, to the front rank among the States of this great nation. 


Not the least of the hardships of the pioneers was ' the procur- 
ing of bread. The first settlers must be supplied at least one year 
from other sources than their own lands ; but the first crops, how- 
ever abundant, gave only partial relief, there being no mills to 
grind the grain. Hence the necessity of grinding by hand-power, 
and many families were poorly provided with means for doing 
this. Another way was to grate the corn. A grater was made 
from a piece of tin sometimes taken from an old, worn-out tin 
bucket or other vessel. It was thickly perforated, bent into a 
semicircular form, and nailed, rough side upward, on a board. 
The corn was taken in the ear, and grated before it got dry and 
hard. Corn, however, was eaten in various ways. 

Soon after the country became more generally settled, enter- 
prising men were ready to embark in the milling business. Sites 
along the streams were selected for water-power. A person looking 
for a mill-site would follow up and down the stream for a desired 
location, and when found he would go before the authorities and 
secure a writ of ad quod damnum. This would enable the miller 
to have the adjoining land officially examined, and the amount of 
damage by making a dam was named. Mills being so great a 
public necessity, they were permitted to be located upon any per- 
son's land where the miller thought the site desirable. 


The agricultural implements used by the first farmers in this 
State would in this age of improvement be great curiosities. The 
plow used was called the "bar-share" plow; the iron point con- 
sisted of a bar of iron about two feet long, and a broad share of 
iron welded to it. At the extreme point was a coulter that passed 
through a beam six or seven feet long, to which were attached 
handles of corresponding length. The mold-board was a wooden 
one split out of winding timber, or hewed into a winding shape, 
in order to turn the soil over. Sown seed was brushed in by 
dragging over the ground a sapling with a bushy top. In harvest- 


ing the change is most striking. Instead of the reapers and mow- 
ers of to-day, the sickle and cradle were used. The grain was 
threshed with a flail, or trodden out by horses or oxen. 


Hogs were always dressed before they were taken to market. The 
farmer, if forehanded, would call in his neighbors some bright fall 
or winter morning to help "kill hogs." Immense kettles of water 
were heated ; a sled or two. covered with loose boards or plank, con- 
stituted the platform on which the hog was cleaned, and was placed 
near an inclined hogshead in which the scalding was done ; a quilt 
was thrown over the top of the latter to retain the heat; from a 
crotch of some convenient tree a projecting pole was rigged to hold 
the animals for disemboweling and thorough cleaning. When 
everything was arranged, the best shot of the neighborhood loaded 
his rifle, and the work of killing was commenced. It was consid- 
ered a disgrace to make a hog "squeal" by bad shooting or by a 
'shoulder stick," that ig running the point of the butcher-knife 
nto the shoulder instead of the cavity of the beast. As each hog 
ell, the "sticker" mounted him and plunged the butcher-knife, 
ong and well sharpened, into his throat ; two persons would then 
atch him by the hind legs, draw him up to the scalding tub, which 
ad just been filled with boiling-hot water with a shovelful of 
ood green wood ashes thrown in ; in this the carcass was plunged 
od moved around a minute or so, that is, until the hair would 
ip off easily, then placed on the platform where the cleaners would 
itch into him with all their might and clean him as quickly as 
>ssible, with knives and other sharp-edged implements ; then two 
out fellows would take him up between them, and a third man 
manage the "gambrel"- (which was a stout stick about two feet 
ng, sharpened at both ends, to be inserted between the muscles 
the hind legs at or near the hock joint), the animal would be 
evated to the pole, where the work of cleaning was finished. 
After the slaughter was over and the hogs had had time to cool, 
ich as were intended for domestic use were cut up, the lard "tried" 
it by the women of the household, and the surplus hogs taken 
i market, while the weather was cold, if possible. In those 
ivs almost every merchant had, at the rear end of his place of 


business or at some convenient building, a " pork-bouse," and 
would buy the pork of his customers and of such others as would 
eell to him, and cut it for the market. This gave employment to a 
large number of hands in every village, who would cut and pack 
pork all winter. The hauling of all this to the river would also 
give employment to a large number of teams, and the manufacture 
of pork barrels would keep many coopers employed. 

Allowing for the difference of currency and manner of market- 
ing, the price of pork was not so high in those days as at present. 
Now, while calico and mui-lin are eight cents ayar>l and pork is rive 
and ?ix cents a pound, then,while calico and musliu were twenty-five 
cents a yard pork was one to two cents a pound. "When, as the 
country grew older and communications easier between the seaboard 
and the great West, prices went up to two and a half and three 
cents a pound, the farmers thought they would always be content 
to raise pork at such a price; but times have changed, even con- 
trary to the current-cy. 

There was one feature in this method of marketing pork that 
made the country a paradise for the poor man in the winter time. 
Spare-ribs, tenderloins, pigs' heads and pigs' feet were not con- 
sidered of any value, and were freely given to all who could use 
them. If a barrel was taken to any pork-house and salt furnished,, 
the barrel would be filled and salted down with tenderloins and 
spare-ribs gratuitously. So great in many cases was the quantity 
of spare-ribs, etc., to be disposed of, that they would be hauled 
away in wagon -loads and dumped in the woods out of town. 

In those early times much wheat was marketed at twenty-five to 
fifty cents a bushel, oats the same or less, and corn ten cents a 
bushel. A good young milch-cow could be bought for $5 to $10, 
and that payable in work. 

Those might truly be called "close times," yet the citizens of 
the country were accommodating, and but very little suffering for 
the actual necessities of life was ever known to exist. 


Fires, set out by Indians or settlers, sometimes purposely and 
Bometimes permitted through carelessness, would visit the prairies 
every autumn, and sometimes the forests, either in autumn or 
spring, and settlers could not always succeed in defending them- 
selves against the destroying element. Many interesting incidents 
are related. Often a fire was started to bewilder game, or to bare 


a piece of ground for the early grazing of stock the ensuing spring, 
and it would get away under a wind, and soon be beyond control. 
Violent winds would otten arise and drive the flames with such 
rapidity that riders on the fleetest steeds could scarcely escape. 
On the approach of a prairie fire the farmer would immediately 
set about " cutting off supplies" for the devouring enemy by a 
" back fire." Thus, by starting a small fire near the bare ground 
about his premises, and keeping it under control next his property, 
he would burn off a strip around him and prevent the attack of the 
on-coming flames. A few furrows or a ditch around the farm con- 
stituted a help in the work of protection. 

An original prairie of tail and exuberant grass on fire, especially 
at night, was a magnificent spectacle, enjoyed only by the pioneer. 
Here is an instance where the frontiersman, proverbially deprived 
of the sights and pleasures of an old community, is privileged far 
beyond the people of the present day in this country. One could 
scarcely tire of beholding the scene, as its awe-inspiring features 
seemed constantly to increase, and the whole panorama unceasingly 
changed like the dissolving views of a magic lantern, or like the 
aurora borealis. Language cannot convey, words cannot express, 
the faintest idea of the splendor and grandeur of such a conflagra- 
tion at night. It was as if the pale queen of night, disdaining to 
take her accustomed place in the heavens, had dispatched myriads 
upon myriads of messengers to light their torches at the altar of 
the setting sun until all had flashed into one long and continuous 

The following graphic description of prairie fires was written by 
a traveler through this region in 1849: 

" Soon the fires began to kindle wider and rise higher from the 
long grass; the gentle breeze increased to stronger currents, and soon 
fanned the small, flickering blaze into fierce torrent flames, which 
curled up and leaped along in resistless splendor; and like quickly 
raising the dark curtain from the luminous stage, the scenes before 
me were suddenly changed, as if by the magician's wand, into one 
boundless amphitheatre, blazing from earth to heaven and sweeping 
the horizon round, — columns of lurid flames sportively mourning 
up to the zenith, and dark clouds of crimson smoke curling away 
and aloft till they nearly obscured stars and moon, while the rush- 
ing, crashing sounds, like roaring cataracts mingled with distant 
thunders, were almost deafening; danger, death, glared all around; 
it screamed for victims; yet, notwithstanding the imminent peril 


of prairie fires, one is loth, irresolute, almost unable to withdraw 
or seek refuge." 


When the earliest pioneer reached this Western wilderness, game 
was his principal food until he had conquered a farm from the 
forest or prairie, — rarely, then, from the latter. As the country 
settled game grew scarce, and by 1850 he who would live by his 
rifle would have had but a precarious subsistence had it not been 
for "wild hogs." These animals, left by home-sick immigrants 
whom the chills or fever and ague had driven out, had strayed into 
the woods, and began to multiply in a wild state. The woods each 
fall were full of acorns, walnuts, hazelnuts, and these hogs would 
grow fat and multiply at a wonderful rate in the bottoms and along 
the bluffs. The second and third immigration to the country found 
these wild hogs an unfailing source of meat supply up to that 
period when they had in the townships contiguous to the river be- 
come so numerous as to be an evil, breaking in herds into the 
farmer's corn-fields or toling their domestic swine into their 
retreats, where they too became in a season as wild as those in the 
woods. In 1838 or '39, in a certain township, a meeting was called 
of citizens of the township to take steps to get rid of wild hogs. At 
this meeting, which was held in the spring, the people of the town- 
ship were notified to turn out en masse on a certain day and engage 
in the work of catching, trimming and branding wild hogs, which 
were to be turned loose, and the next winter were to be hunted and 
killed by the people of the township, the meat to be divided pro 
rata among the citizens of the township. This plan was fully 
carried into effect, two or three days being spent in the exciting 
work in the spring. 

In the early part of the ensuing winter the settlers again turned 
out, supplied at convenient points in the bottom with large kettles 
and barrels for scalding, and while the hunters were engaged in 
killing, others with horses dragged the carcasses to the scalding 
platforms where they were dressed; and when all that could be 
were killed and dressed a division was made, every farmer getting 
more meat than enough, for his winter's supply. Like energetio 
measures were resorted to in other townships, so that in two or 
three years the breed of wild hogs became extinct. 


The principal wild animals found in the State by the early set- 
tler were the deer, wolf, bear, wild-cat, fox, otter, raccoon, generally 
called "coon," woodchuck, or ground-hog, skunk, mink, weasel, 
muskrat, opossum, rabbit and squirrel; and the principal feathered 
game were the quail, prairie chicken and wild turkey. Hawks, 
turkey buzzards, crows, blackbirds were also very abundant. Sev- 
eral of these animals furnished meat for the settlers; but their 
principal meat did not long consist of game; pork and poultry 
were raised in abundance. The wolf was the most troublesome 
inimal, it being the common enemy of the sheep, and sometimes 
ittacking other domestic animals and even human beings. But 
heir hideous howlings at night were so constant and terrifying 
hat they almost seemed to do more mischief by that annoyance 
han by direct attack. They would keep everbody and every ani- 
nal about the farm-house awake and frightened, and set all the dogs 
n the neighborhood to barking. As one man described it: "Sup- 
>ose six boys, having six dogs tied, whipped them all at the same 
iine, and you would hear such music as two wolves would make." 
To effect the destruction of these animals the county authorities 
.ffered a bounty for their scalps; and, besides, big hunts were 


In early davs more mischief was done by wolves than by any 
Dther wild animal, and no small part of their mischief consisted in 
their almost constant barking at night, which always seemed so 
menacing and frightful to the settlers. Like mosquitoes, the 
noise they made appeared to be about as dreadful as the real depre- 
dations they committed. The most effectual, as well as the most 
exciting, method of ridding the country of these hateful pests, was 
that known as the " circular wolf hunt," by which all the men and 
boys would turn out on an appointed day, in a kind of circle com- 
prising many square miles of territory, with horses and dogs, and 
then close up toward the center of their field of operation, gather- 
ing not only wolves, but also deer and many smaller " varmint." 
Five, ten, or more wolves by this means would sometimes be killed 
in a single day. The men would be organized with as much 
system as a little army, every one being well posted in the meaning 
of every signal and the application of every rule. Guns were 
scarcely ever allowed to be brought on such occasions, as their use 


would be unavoidably dangerous. The dogs were depended upon 
for the final slaughter. The dogs, by the way, had all to be held 
in check by a cord in the hands of their keepers until the final 
signal was given to let them loose, when away they would all go to 
the center of battle, and a more exciting scene would follow than 
can be easily described. 


This wild recreation was a peculiar one, and many sturdy back- 
woodsmen gloried in excelling in this art. He would carefully 
watch a bee as it filled itself with the sweet product of some flower 
or leaf-bud, and notice particularly the direction taken by it as it 
struck a "bee-line" for its home, which when found would be 
generally high up in the hollow of a tree. The tree would be 
marked, and in September a party would go and cut down the tree 
and capture the honey as quickly as they could before it wasted 
away through the broken walls in which it had been so carefully 
stowed away by the little busy bee. Several gallons would often be 
thus taken from a single tree, and by a very little work, and pleas- 
ant at that, the early settlers could keep themselves in honey the 
year round. By the time the honey was a year old, or before, 
it would turn white and granulate, yet be as good and healthful as 
when fresh. This was by some called " candid " honey. 

In some districts, the resorts of bees would be so plentiful that 
all the available hollow trees would be occupied and many colonies 
of bees would be found at work in crevices in the rock and holee in 
the ground. A considerable quantity of honey has even been taken 
from such places. 


In pioneer times snakes were numerous, such as the rattlesnake, 
viper, adder, blood stiake and many varieties of large blue and green 
snakes, milk snake, garter and water snakes, black snakes, etc., etc. 
If, on meeting one of these, you would retreat, they would chase 
you very fiercely; but if you would turn and give them battle, they 
would immediately crawl away with all possible speed, hide in the 
grass and weeds, and wait for a "greener M customer. These really 
harmless snakes served to put people on their guard against the 
more dangerous and venomous kinds. 

It was the practice in some sections of the country to turn out in 
companies, with spades, mattocks and crow-bars, attack the princi- 
pal snake dens and slay large numbers of them. In early spring 


the snakes were somewhat torpid and easily captured. Scores of 
rattlesnakes were sometimes frightened ont of a single den, which, 
as Loon as they showed their heads through the crevices of the rocks, 
were dispatched, and left to be devoured by the numerous wild hogs 
of that day. Some of the fattest of these snakes were taken to the 
house and oil extracted from them, and their glittering skins were 
saved as specifics for rheumatism. 

Another method was to so fix a heavy stick over the door of their 
dens, with a long grape-vine attached, that one at a distance could 
plug the entrance to the den when the snakes were all out sunning 
themselves. Then a large company of the citizens, on hand by ap- 
pointment, could kill scores of the reptiles in a few minutes. 

One of the greatest obstacles to the early settlement and pros- 
perity of this State was the "chills and fever," " fever and ague." 
or " shakes," as it was variously called. It was a terror to new- 
comers; in the fall of the year almost everybody was afflicted with it. 
It was no respecter of persons; everybody looked pale and sallow as 
though he were frost-bitten. It was not contagious, but derived 
from impure water and air, which are always developed in the 
opening up of a new country of rank soil like that of the Northwest. 
The impurities continue to be absorbed from day to day, and from 
week to week, until the whole body corporate became saturated with 
it as with electricity, and then the shockWme; and the shock was a 
regular shake, with a iixed beginning and ending, coming on in 
some cases each day but generally on alternate days, with a regu- 
larity that was surprising. After the shake came the fever, and 
this " last estate was worse than the first." It was a burning-hot 
fever, and lasted for hours. When yon had the chill you couldn't 
get warm, and when you had the fever you couldn't get -cool. It 
was exceedingly awkward in this respect ; indeed it was. Nor would 
it stop for any sort of contingency ; not even a wedding in the family 
would stop it. It was imperative and tyrannical. When the ap- 
pointed time came around, everything else had to be stopped to at- 
tend to its demands. It didn't even have any Sundays or holidays; 
after the fever went down you still didn't feel much better. You 
felt as though you had gone through some sort of collision, 
thrashing-machine or jarring-machine, and came out not killed, but 
next thing to it. You felt weak, as though you had run too far after 
something, and then didn't catch it. You felt languid, stupid a»4 


sore, and was down in the mouth and heel and partially raveled 
out. Your back was out of fix, your head ached and your appetite 
crazy. Your eyes had too much white in them, your ears, especially 
after taking quinine, had too much roar in them, and your 
whole body and soul were entirely woe-begone, disconsolate, sad, 
poor and good for nothing. Yon didn't think much of yourself, 
and didn't believe that other people did, either; and you didn't 
care. You didn't quite make up your mind to commit suicide, but 
sometimes wished some accident would happen to knock either the 
malady or yourself out of existence. You imagined that even the 
dogs looked at you with a kind of self-complacency. You thought 
the sun had a kind of sickly shine about it. 

About this time you came to the conclusion that you would not 
accept the whole "Western con ntryaa a gift; and if you had the 
strength and means, you picked up Hannah and the baby, and your 
traps, and went back "yander" to "Old Yir^iuny," the " Jar- 
Beys," Maryland or " Pennsylvany." 

" And to-day the swallows flitting 
Round my cabin see ine sitting 
Moodily within the sunshine, 

Just inside my silent door, 
Waiting for the ' Ager,' seeming 
Like a man forever dreaming; 
And the sunlight on me streaming 

Throws no shadow on the floor; 
For I am too thin and sallow 
To make shadows on the floor — 

Nary shadow any more! " 

The above is not a mere picture of the imagination. It is sim- 
ply recounting in quaint phrase what actually occurred in thousands 
of cases. Whole families would sometimes be sick at one time 
and not one member scarcely able to wait upon another. Labor or 
exercise always aggravated the malady, and it took General Lazi- 
ness a long time to thrash the enemy out. And those were the 
days for swallowing all sorts of roots and "varbs," and whisky, 
etc., with some faint hope of relief. And finally, when the case 
wore out, the last remedy taken got the credit of the cure. 


Though struggling through the pressure of poverty and priva- 
tion, the early settlers planted among them the school-house at the 
earliest practical period. So important an object as the education 


of their children they did not defe;- until they could build more 
comely and convenient houses. They were for a time content with 
such as corresponded with their rude dwellings, but soon better build- 
ings and accommodations were provided. As may readily be sup- 
posed, the accommodations of the earliest schools were not good. 
Sometimes school was taught in a room of a large or a double log 
cabin, but oftener in a log house built for the purpose. Stoves 
and such heating apparatus as are now in use were then unknown. 
A mud-and-stick chimney in one end of the building, with earthen 
hearth and a lire-place wide and deep enough to receive a four to 
six-foot back-log, and smaller wood to match, served for warming 
purposes in winter and a kind of conservatory in summer. For 
windows, part of a log was cut out in two sides of the building, 
and may be a few lights of eight by ten glass set in, or the aper- 
ture might be covered over with greased paper. "Writing desks 
consisted of heavy oak plank or a hewed slab laid upon wooden 
pins driven into the wall. The four-legged slab benches were in 
front of these, and the pupils when not writing would sit with 
their backs against the front, sharp edge of the writing-desks. 
The floor was also made out of these slabs, or M puncheons," laid 
npon log sleepers. Everything was rude and plain; but many of 
America's greatest men have gone out from just such school-houses 
to grapple with the world and make names for themselves and re- 
flect honor upon their country. Among these we can name Abra- 
ham Lincoln, our martyred president, one of the noblest men 
known to the world's history. Stephen A. Douglas, one of the 
greatest statesmen of the age, began his career in Illinois teaching 
in one of these primitive school- houses. Joseph A. "Wright, and 
several other statesmen of the Northwest have also graduated 
from the log school-house into political eminence. So with many 
of her most eloquent and efficient preachers. 



The chief public evening entertainment for the first 30 or 40 
years of Western pioneering was the celebrated " spelling-school." 
Both yonng people and old looked forward to the next spelling- 
school with as much anticipation and anxiety as we nowadays look 
forward to a general Fourth-of-July celebration; and when the time 
arrived the whole neighborhood, yea, and sometimes several neigh- 
borhoods, would flock together to the scene of academical combat, 
where the excitement was often more intense than had been expect- 
ed. It was far better, of course, when there was good sleighing; 
then the young folks would turn out in high glee and be fairly 
beside themselves. The jollity is scarcely equaled at the present 
day by anything in vogue. 

When the appointed hour arrive^, the usual plan of commencing 
battle was for two of the young people who might agree to play 
against each other, or who might be selected to do so by the school- 
teacher of the neighborhood, to " choose sides," that is, each con- 
testant, or "captain," as he was generally called, would choose the 
best speller from the assembled crowd. Each one choosing alter- 
nately, the ultimate strength of the respective parties would be 
about equal. When all were chosen who could be made to serve, 
each side would "number," so as to ascertain whether amid the 
confusion one captain had more spellers than the other. In case he 
had, some compromise would be made by the aid of the teacher, the 
master of ceremonies, and then the plan of conducting the campaign, 
or counting the misspelled words, would be canvassed for a moment 
by the captains, sometimes by the aid of the teacher and others. 
There were many ways of conducting the contest and keeping tally. 
Every section of the country had several favorite methods, and all 
or most of these were different from what other communities had. 
At one time they would commence spelling at the head, at another 
time at the foot; at one time they would " spell across," that is, the 
first on one side would spell the first word, then the first on the 
other side; next the second in the line on each side, alternately, 
down to the other end of each line. The question who should spell 
the first word was determined by the captains guessing what page 
the teacher would have before him in a partially opened book at a 
distance; the captain guessing the nearest would spell the first word 
pronounced. When a word was missed, it would be re-pronounced, 
or passed along without re-pronouncing (as some teachers strictly 


followed the rule never to re-pronounce a word), until it was spelled 
correctly. If a speller on the opposite side finally spelled the missed 
word correctly, it was counted a gain of one to that side; if the 
word was finally corrected by some speller on the same side on 
which it was originated as a missed word, it was "saved," and no 
tally mark was made. 

Another popular method was to commence at one end of the 
line of spellers and go directly around, and the missed words 
caught up quickly and corrected by "word-catchers," appointed by 
the captains from among their best spellers. These word-catchers 
would attempt to correct all the words missed on his opponent's 
6ide, and failing to do this, the catcher on the other side would 
catch him up with a peculiar zest, and then there was fun. 

Still another very interesting, though somewhat disorderly, 
method, was this: Each word-catcher would go to the foot of the 
adversary's line, and every time he " catched " a word he would go 
up one, thus "turning them down" in regular spelling-class style. 
When one catcher in this way turned all down on the opposing side, 
his own party was victorious by as many as the opposing catcher 
was behind. This method required no slate or blackboard tally to 
be kept. 

One turn, by either of the foregoing or other methods, would 
occupy 40 minutes to an hour, and by this time an intermission or 
recess was had, when the buzzing, cackling and hurrahing that en- 
sued for 10. or 15 minutes were beyond description. 

Coming to order again, the next style of battle to be illustrated 
was to "spell down," by which process it was ascertained who were 
the best spellers and could continue standing as a soldier the longest 
But very often good spellers would inadvertently miss a word in 
an early stage of the contest and would have to sit down humilia- 
ted, while a comparatively poor speller would often stand till nearly 
or quite the last, amid the cheers of the assemblage. Sometimes 
the two parties first " chosen up " in the evening would re-take 
their places after recess, so that by the " spelling-down " process 
there would virtually be another race, in another form; sometimes 
there would be a new " choosing up " for the " spelling-down " con- 
test; and sometimes the spelling down would be conducted with- 
out any party lines being made. It would occasionally happen that 
two or three very good spellers would retain the floor so long that 
the exercise would become monotonous, when a few outlandish 
words like " chevauX'de-frise," " Ompompanoosuc " or "Baugh- 


nangh-claugh-ber," as they used to spell it sometimes, would create 
a little ripple of excitement to close with. Sometimes these words 
would decide the contest, but generally when two or three good 
spellers kept the floor until the exercise became monotonous, the 
teacher would declare the race closed and the standing spellers ac- 
quitted with a " drawn game." 

The audience dismissed, the next thing was to " go home," very 
often by a round-about way, " a-sleighing with the girls," which, 
of course, was with many the most interesting part of the even- 
ing's performances, sometimes, however, too rough to be com- 
mended, as the boys were often inclined to be somewhat rowdyish. 


Next to the night spelling-school the singing-school was an occa- 
sion of much jollity, wherein it was difficult for the average singing- 
master to preserve order, as many went more for fun than for music. 
This species of evening entertainment, in its introduction to the West, 
was later than the spelling-school, and served, as it were, as the second 
step toward the more modern civilization. Good sleighing weather was 
of course almost a necessity for the success of these schools, but how 
many of them have been prevented by mud and rain! Perhaps a 
greater part of the time from November to April the roads wonld be 
muddy and often half frozen, which would have a very dampening 
and freezing effect upon the souls, as well as the bodies, of the 
young people who longed for a good time on such occasions. 

The old-time method of conducting singing-school was also some- 
what different from that of modern times. It was more plodding 
and heavy, the attention being kept upon the simplest rudiments, 
as the names ot the notes on the staff, and their pitch, and beating 
time, while comparatively little attention was given to expression 
and light, gleeful music. The very earliest scale introduced in the 
West was from the South, and the notes, from their peculiar shape, 
were denominated " patent " or "buckwheat " notes. They were 
four, of which the round one was always called sol, the square one 
la, the triangular one fa, and the "diamond-shaped" one mi, pro- 
nounced me; and the diatonic scale, or "gamut" as it was called 
then, ran thus: ./a, sol, la, fa, sol, la, mi, fa. The part of a tune 
nowadays called " treble," or "soprano," was then called " tenor;" 
the part now called "tenor" was called" treble," and what is now 
"alto" was then "counter," and when sung according to the oldest 
rule, was sung by a female an octave higher than marked, and still 


on the " chest register." The " old " " Missouri Harmony" and 
Mason's " Sacred Harp " were the principal books used with this 
style of musical notation . 

About 1850 the " round-note " system began to " come around," 
being introduced by the Yankee singing-master. The scale was 
do,re,mi,fa,sol,la,si,do; and for many years thereafter there 
was much more do-re-mi-ing than is practiced at the present day, 
when a musical instrument is always under the hand. The Car- 
mina Sacra was the pioneer round-note book, in which the tunes 
partook more of the German or Puritan character, and were gener- 
ally regarded by the old folks as being far more spiritless than 
the old " Pisgah," " Fiducia," " Tender Thought," « New Durham," 
" Windsor," " Mount Sion," " Devotion," etc., of the old Missouri 
Harmony and tradition. 


The fashion of carrying fire-arms was made necessary by the 
presence of roving bands of Indians, most of whom were ostensi- 
bly friendly, but like Indians in all times, treacherous and unreli- 
able. An Indian war was at any time probable, and all the old 
settlers still retain vivid recollections of Indian massacres, murders, 
plunder, and frightful rumors of intended raids. While target 
practice was much indulged in as an amusement, it was also neces- 
sary at times to carry their guns with them to their daily field work. 

As an illustration of the painstaking which characterized pioneer 
life, we quote the following from Zebulon Collings, who lived about 
six miles irom the scene of massacre near Pigeon Roost, Indiana: 
" The manner in which I used to work in those perilous times 
was as follows: On all occasions I carried my rifle, tomahawk and 
butcher-knife, with a loaded pistol in my belt. When I went to 
plow I laid my gun on the plowed ground, and stuck up a stick by 
it for a mark, so that I could get it quick in case it was wanted. 
I had two good dogs; I took one into the house, leaving the other 
out. The one outside was expected to give the alarm, which would 
cause the one inside to bark, by which I would be awakened, hav- 
ing my arms always loaded. I kept my horse in a stable close to 
the house, having a port-hole so that I could shoot to the stable door. 
During two years I never went from home with any certainty of 
returning, not knowing the minute I might receive a ball from an 
unknown hand." 



The history of pioneer life generally presents the dark side of the 
picture; but the toils and privations of theearly settlers were not a 
series of unmitigated sufferings. No; for while the fathers and 
mothers toiled hard, they were not averse to a little relaxation, and 
had their seasons of fun and enjoyment. They contrived to do 
something to break the monotony of their daily life and furnish 
them a good hearty laugh. Among the more general forms of 
amusements were the " quilting-bee," "corn-husking," "apple-par- 
ing," " log-rolling " and " house-raising." Our young readers will 
doubtless be interested in a description of these forms of amuse- 
ment, when labor was made to afford fun and enjoyment to all par- 
ticipating. The "quilting-bee," as its name implies, was when the 
industrious qualities of the busy little insect that " improves each 
shininghour" were exemplified in the manufacture of quilts for the 
household. In the afternoon ladies for miles around gathered at an 
appointed place, and while their tongues would not cease to play, 
the hands were as busily engaged in making the quilt; and desire 
a) always manifested to get it out as quickly as possible, for then 
the fun would begin. In the evening the gentlemen came, and the 
hours would then pass swiftly by in playing games or dancing. 
" Corn-huskiugs " were when both sexes united in the work. They 
usually assembled in a large barn, which was arranged for the oc- 
casion; and when each gentleman had selected a lady partner the 
husking began. When a lady found a red ear she was entitled to 
a kiss from every gentleman present; when a gentleman found one 
he was allowed to kiss every lady present. After the corn was all 
husked a good supper was served; then the "old folks" would 
leave, and the remainder of the evening was spent in the dance and 
in having a general good time. The recreation afforded to the 
young people on the annual recurrence of these festive occasions 
was as highly enjoyed, and quite as innocent, as the amusements of 
the present boasted age of refinement and culture. 

The amusements of the pioneers were peculiar to themselves. 
Saturday afternoon was a holiday in which no man was expected 
to work. A load of produce might be taken to " town " for sale or 
traffic without violence to custom, but no more serious labor could 
be tolerated. When on Saturday afternoon the town was reached 
"fun commenced." Had two neighbors business to transact, here 
it was done. Horses were h swapped." Difficulties settled and 


free tights indulged in. Bine and red ribbons were not worn in 
those days, and whisky was as free as water; twelve and a half 
cents would buy a quart, and thirty-five or forty, cents a gallon, 
and at such prices enormous quantities were consumed. Go to any 
town in the county and ask the first pioneer you meet, and he would 
tell you of notable Saturday-afternoon fights, either of which to-day 
would fill a column of the Police JVews, with elaborate engravings 
to match. 

Mr. Sandford C. Cox quaintly describes some of the happy feat- 
tures of frontier life in this manner: 

"We cleared land, rolled legs, burned brush, blazed out paths 
from one neighbor's cabin to another and from one settlement" to 
another, made and used hand-mills and hominy mortars, hunted 
deer, turkey, otter, and raccoons, caught fish, dug ginseng, hunted 
bees and the like, and — lived on the fat of the land. We read of a 
land of " corn and wine," and another "flowing with milk and 
honey;" but 1 rather think, in a temporal point of view, taking into 
account the richness of the soil, timber, stone, wild game and 
other advantages, that the Sugar creek country would come up to 
any of them, if not surpass them. 

I once cut cord- wood, continues Mr. Cox, at 31 J cents per cord, 
and walked a mile and a half night and morning, where the first 
frame college was built northwest of town (Crawford svi lie). 
Prof. Curry, the lawyer, would sometimes come down and help for 
an hour or two at a time, by way of amusement, as there was little 
or no law business in the town or country- at that time. Reader, 
what would you think of going six to eight miles to help roll logs, 
or raise a cabin? or ten to thirteen miles to mill, and wait three or 
four days and nights for your grist? as many had to do in the 
first settlement of this country. Such things were of frequent oc- 
currence then, and there was but little grumbling about it. It was 
a grand sight to see the log heaps and brush piles burning in the 
night on a clearing of 10 or 15 acres. A Democratic torchlight 
procession, or a midnight march of the Sons of Malta with their 
grand Gyasticutus in the center bearing the grand jewel of the 
order, would be nowhere in comparison with the log-heaps and 
brush piles in a blaze. 

But it may be asked, Had you any social amusements, or manly 
pastimes, to recreate and enliven the dwellers in the wilderness? 
"We had. In the social line we had our meetings and our singing- 
schools, sugar-boilings and weddings, which were as good as ever 


came off in any country, new or old ; and if our youngsters did 
not " trip the light fantastic toe " under a professor of the Terpsi- 
chorean art or expert French dancing- master, they had many a 
good "hoe-down" on puncheon floors, and were not annoyed by bad 
whisky. And as for manly sports, requiring mettle and muscle, 
there were lots of wild hogs running in the cat-tail swamps on Lye 
creek, and Mill creek, and among them many large boars that 
Ossian's heroes and Homer's model soldiers, such as Achilles, Hector 
and Ajax would have delighted to give chase to. The boys and 
men of those days had quite as much sport, and made more money 
and health by their hunting excursions than our city gents nowa- 
days playing chess bv telegraph where the players are more thau 
70 miles apart. 


Illinois is a grand State, in many respects second to none 
in the Union, and in almost every thing that goes to make a 
live, prosperous community, not far behind the best. Beneath her 
fertile soil is coal enough to supply the State for generations; her 
harvests are bountiful; she has a medium climate, and many other 
things, that make her people contented, prosperous and happy; 
but she owes much to those who opened up these avenues that have 
led to her present condition and happy surroundings. Unremit- 
ting toil and labor have driven off the sickly miasmas that brooded 
over swampy prairies. Energy and perseverance have peopled 
every section of her wild lands, and changed them from wastes and 
deserts to gardens of beauty and profit. When but a few years 
ago the barking wolves made the night hideous with their wild 
shrieks and howls, now is heard only the lowing and bleating of 
domestic animals. Only a half century ago the wild whoop of the 
Indian rent the air where now are heard the engine and rumbling 
trains of cars, bearing away to markets the products of our labor 
and soil. Then the savage built his rude huts on the spot where 
now rise the dwellings and school-houses and church spires of civ- 
ilized life. How great the transformation! This change has been 
brought about by the incessant toil and aggregated labor ot 
thousands of tired hands and anxious hearts, and the noble aspira- 
tions of such men and women as make any country great. What 
will another half century accomplish? There are few, very few, 
of these old pioneers yet lingering on the shores of time as connect- 
ing links of the past with the present. What must their thoughts 


be as with their dim eyes they view the scenes that surronnd them? 
We often hear people talk about the old-fogy ideas and fogy ways, 
and want of enterprise on the part of the old men who have gone 
through the experiences of pioneer life. Sometimes, perhaps, 
such remarks are just, but, considering the experiences, education 
and entire life of such men, such remarks are better unsaid. 
They have had their trials, misfortunes, hardships and adventures, 
and shall we now, as they are passing far down the western decliv- 
ity of life, and many of them gone, point to them the finger of 
derision and laugh and sneer at the simplicity of their ways? 
Let us rather cheer them up, revere and respect them, for beneath 
those rough exteriors beat hearts as noble as ever throbbed in the 
human breast. These veterans have been compelled to live for 
weeks upon hominy and, if bread at all, it was bread made from 
corn ground in hand-mills, or pounded up with mortars. Their 
children have been destitute of shoes during the winter; their 
families had no clothing except what was carded, spun, wove and 
made into garments by their own hands; schools they had none; 
churches they had none; afflicted with sickness incident to all 
new countries, sometimes the entire family at once; luxuries of 
life they had none; the auxiliaries, improvements, inventions and 
labor-saving machinery of to-day they had not; and what they 
possessed they obtained by the hardest of labor and individual exer- 
tions, yet they bore these hardships and privations without mur- 
muring, hoping for better times to come, and often, too, with but 
little prospect of realization. 

As before mentioned, the changes written on every hand are 
most wonderful. It has been but three-score years since the white 
man began to exercise dominion over this region, erst the home of 
the red men, yet the visitor of to-day, ignorant of the past of the 
country, could scarcely be made to realize that within these years 
there has grown up a population of 2,000,000 people, who in all 
the accomplishments of life are as far advanced as are the inhabi- 
tants of the older States. Schools, churches, colleges, pala- 
tial dwellings, beautiful grounds, large, well-cultivated and produc- 
tive farms, as well as cities, towns and busy manufactories, have 
grown up, and occupy the hunting grounds and camping places of 
the Indians, and in every direction there are evidences of wealth, 
comfort and luxury. There is but little left of the old landmarks. 
Advanced civilization and the progressive demands of revolving 
years have obliterated all traces of Indian occupancy, until they are 
only remembered in name. 

&r gAVojA- 






Indian History — Pre-historic Races — Early Indian Occu- 
pants — The Miamis, Their Habits and Characteristics 
— Indian Relics — The Dela wares — Their Residence in 
Indiana — Remnants From Other Tribes — Last of the 
Red Men. 

HE history of the Indian occupation of a county situ- 
ated as Johnson County is, prior to its colonization 
by the white man, must necessarily be meager and 
unsatisfactory. Occupying the level lands lying between 
the White and Blue rivers — lands covered by a rank 
and gloomy forest, and predominated by marshes and 
sluggish streams, it is no cause for wonder if neither 
that vanished race we call the Mound Builders, nor that 
vanishing one we call the Indians, found much encouragement to 
establish, within the region, permanent homes. While the surround- 
ing counties are said to abound in the remains of the handiwork 
of the people who built the mounds, in all of Johnson County only 
the feeblest evidence of their occupation remains. On Sugar 
Creek, two miles above its confluence with Blue River, two mounds 
are to be seen which have never been examined by digging, but 
which appear to have had an artificial origin. In White River 
Township, on the farm of Levi Guseclore are two low mounds 
which have yielded ashes, which seems to settle the question of 
their artificial origin. The land between the rivers was, unques- 
tionably, in the remote past, under the dominion of, and parts of it 
no doubt, actually occupied as places of residence by, the Mound 
Builders. But the prints of their occupation are far more numer- 
ous in Shelby County on the east, and Morgan on the west. The 
river hills in these counties afforded them both dry home sites, and 
dry fields for tilling maize. Trails leading from river to river con- 
nected the east and west communities, and the territory since framed 


into Johnson County, was thus, no doubt, as well known to them 
as if they had made their homes on its every knoll. Besides, the 
Mound Builders were hunters as well as agriculturists, and the for- 
ests of the unoccupied country, we may well suppose, teemed with 

During the past two years I have made such collection of John- 
son County "Indian Relics," as time and opportunity permitted, 
and of the stone implements in my possession, or that I have seen, 
that were found in the county, quite a number are identical in pat- 
tern with implements that have been found in mounds. None of 
the implements referred to, were taken from mounds, but all are 
what is known as "Surface Finds," and were, of course, once 
lost by owners. It does not follow, however, that the losing 
owners were Mound Builders. Some stone implements taken 
from mounds, and which the Mound Builders had in common 
use, notably, the flints and axes, it is well known the Indians 
manufactured, and for aught we know, they made about every 
thing out of stone that the Mound Builders themselves made. 
Furthermore, it may readily be seen that the stone implements 
found in Johnson County, while not manufactured by the Indians, 
may have come into their possession by finding elsewhere, and been 
lost again. It is a curious fact that many of the best specimens, 
and those most nearly allied to the mound-implement forms, have 
been found in places where there never could have been habitations, 
snch as marsh lands. The losers must have been traveling at the 
time their loss occurred; and while this fact exists, another is 
equally prominent. On the knolls and high banks near the " Deer 
Licks," the places where we would expect the Indian encampments 
to have been, and where they were, judging from the great abun- 
dance of implements found, many implements are picked up be- 
longing to the Mound Builders' patterns. No doubt, the Mound 
Builder hunters encamped at, and watched, the deer licks, and they 
may have lost the implements in question. And so, too, may the 
Indian. The only conclusive evidence after all, that the- county 
was ever occupied by the people called the Mound Builders, must 
be found in the mounds themselves. 

Of the Indian occupancy we know more, and yet how little of 
that! When the Ohio Valley first became known to Europeans, 
the Miami Indians were found occupying all the country from the 
Wabash to the Muskingum, and from the Ohio well up toward the 
lakes. They had no traditions of former migrations, but declared 
they had occupied the country from time immemorial. " The 
Miamis," says Bancroft^ " were the most powerful confederacy in 
the West." When the country was first discovered their seat of 



empire was on the Wabash, but for the sake of trading with the 
English " they moved their chief towns eastward." Their town of 
Piequa contained about 400 families, and was one of the strongest 
in that part of the continent." Of their occupancy we know little 
more than in a territory large enough for an empire they had few 
centers ot permanent settlement, and their entire population must 
have been considerably less than the population of Johnson County 
at the present time. Bancroft says : " On the discovery of Amer- 
ica, the number of scattered tenants of the territory which now 
forms the States of Ohio and Michigan, of Indiana and Illinois and 
Kentucky, could hardly have exceeded 18,000."* In 1760, accord- 
ing to Parkman, the same sparseness of population continued. 
" So thin and scattered was the native population, that even in 
those parts which were thought well peopled, one might sometimes 
journey for days together through the twilight forests and meet no 
human form. Broad tracts were left in solitude. All Kentucky 
was a vacant waste, a mere skirmishing ground for the hostile 
parties of the north and south. A great part of Upper Canada, of 
Michigan and of Illinois, besides often portions of the west, were 
tenanted by wild beasts alone. To form a close estimate of the 
number of erratic bands who roamed this wilderness would be im- 
possible; but it may be affirmed, that between the Mississippi on 
the west and the ocean on the east, between the Ohio on the south 
and Lake Superior on the north, the whole Indian population at the 
close of the French War, did not greatly exceed 10,000 fighting 
men. Depending on the chase as the Miamis did for a livelihood, 
it is a most reasonable supposition that the wild animals found on 
their river, Wau-pe Kom-i (White River) and its tributaries, con- 
tributed to their support. From time immemorial their trails led 
from the Wabash across the Ohio into the Kentucky canebreaks, 
one of which passed through this county. Bands of Miami hunters 
could not fail to pursue the game inhabiting the White River coun- 
try, and that meant the migration of families and the establishment 
of camps, and probably of villages, which were occupied during the 
hunting season. When the red man went to war he left his family 
behind, but when he went on an extended hunting excursion he 
took his family and all his personal belongings with him. His 
abiding place depended in the main, on the means of securing live- 
lihood close at hand. Whenever, for any cause, the game migrated, 
he followed it. That every high and dry creek bank, and every 
dry knoll near living water in the county, has been occupied as a 
camping site, if not a village site, in the remote past, we have indu- 
bitable proof in the skeletons and other Indian remains found in 

* The author evidently refers to the number of warriors. 


the gravel pits and other excavations made. One of these places 
is in the northern part of White River Township. A line of 
broken ridges extends through parts of Sections 33, 34 and 35, in 
Congressional Township 14. Springs were within convenient dis- 
tance, and excellent deer licks were found in the vicinity by the 
pioneer settlers. All the conditions were favorable to the occu- 
pancy of the knolls and ridges by an aboriginal population, and the 
remains found prove they took advantage of it. In the excava- 
tions made for gravel, human skeletons, stone implements, earthern 
pots, deer horns and bones, and in one place a buffalo's head and 
feet have been found, and that in such numbers as to lead to the 
conclusion that the occupancy was long continued. 

Another place where the signs point to an ancient place of abor- 
iginal habitation, is at the headwaters of Young's Creek. When 
the early settlers came to Johnson County, they found on that 
creek beginning on Section 31, and extending up through Section 
30, in Township 13, an unusual number of deer licks, to which the 
deers resorted in large numbers during the summer season. In 
consequence of the sport to be had in that vicinity, it soon became 
a noted hunters' resort. Since the country has been cleared up, it 
transpires that the red hunters were in the habit of visiting this 
region of licks in pre-historic times. So numerous are the flints, 
stone axes and nondescript stone implements that have been picked 
up on the plowed fields in that vicinity, and that are yet to be found, 
that the conclusion cannot be avoided that there was a period when 
the Indians spent a considerable part of the } r ear there. The 
knolls which were most used as places of habitation can he found 
from their relics, and it is even believed that on different knolls, a 
difference in the pattern of a majority of the flints found can be 
detected, which, if true, is a fact worthy of note, for it points to 
occupancy by different tribes, and consequently different periods. 

Another place where the aboriginal hunters, with their families, 
made their abiding place, was on the banks of Young's Creek at 
Franklin. Over forty years ago while an excavation was being 
•made for the foundation of a county seminary, numerous skele- 
tons were found which attracted a good deal of attention at the 
time by reason of their unusually large size. In so many places in 
Indiana and the adjoining states have skeletons of extraordinary 
size been found, as to point to the fact of an occupation at one time 
by a tribe of unusually large men. This does not imply a differ- 
ent race — only a difference in the conditions of growth of the same 
race. We are not without an example of a similar development 
within a limited area since the occupation of the country by the 
white people. Fifty years after the disastrous defeat of Gen. St. 


Clair, the skeletons of the Kentucky soldiers killed in that battle 
were exhumed, and out of more than seventy taken from one 
grave, two only were of men who had been less than six feet in 
height. In the early days of the country's history a skeleton was 
exhumed at Edinburg, the lower jaw of which was of such extraor- 
dinary development that it would readily fit mask-like over the 
lower jaw of the largest man in the community. 

The Franklin skeletons were the theme of the first poetical 
effusion ever written or printed in Johnson County. On the 13th 
of December, 1845, the first number of the Franklin Examiner 
was issued by John R. Kerr, " the blind printer," in which ap- 
peared the following verses written by himself : 

Lines on seeing human bones of extraordinary size taken from an excavation at the Johnson 
County Seminary. 

Thy body for ages in silence hath slept, 
And moulder'd in darkness, unknown and unwept; 
For thy tribe and thy kindred have bowed to the ban, 
Which dooms to the dust all glory of man. 

A race though more feeble, more ruthless have come, 
Who reck not to scoff as they break up thy tomb; 
They scatter thy bones with the sands on the street, 
To be trodden like dirt by the vilest of feet. 

Thy relics, tho' mangled and scatter'd we see, 
Yet plead for man's dignity, leaving him free; 
His lore from the wide book of nature to draw, 
Untrammeled by labor, by letters or law. 

They carry us back to the records of Time, 
When nature in majesty wild and sublime, 
Bade all things of life to perfection expand, 
And giant with mastodon strove for command. 

Hut destruction did come like a merciless wave, 
Sweeping widely the land of the mighty and brave; 
And the tumuli standing in silence, are all 
That record their existence, their might, or their fall. 

Many other places might be pointed out, tending to prove that 
the country was occupied for centuries before the white men 
took possession. The vast number of flints and other stone imple- 
ments that have been sown broadcast over the whole face of the 
country tends to prove this. The flint, the axe, the celt, all required 
labor and skill to fashion. With fair usage all would last a life- 
time, and unless buried with the owner, would at his death descend 
to someone else, and without accident, last him a lifetime. Practi- 
cally, the Indian's stone implement was imperishable, and the ones 
found represent the ones lost. We may well imagine that when- 
ever a hunter shot an arrow tipped with a flint he did not shut his 
sharp eyes against the place of its descent. A large per cent, he 


would lose, but he lost no more than he could help. Much less 
would he be apt to lose his other implements. To him they were 
expensive; he had few of them to look after, and it is a reasonable 
supposition that a red man seldom lost an axe, a scraper, a gorget 
or other like implement. And yet what a harvest of these things 
have been picked up one time or other in Johnson county! And 
what a long period of occupancy by men of the stone age, do the 
great number of implements which have been lost in as circum- 
scribed a territory as Johnson County, indicate ! 

Between 1736 and 1748, according to Schoolcraft, the Dela- 
ware Indians, who at the time of the discovery of America, pitched 
their tents *in the valleys of the Delaware and Schuylkill, were 
driven from their ancient home by the six nations, and migrated 
toward the setting sun, establishing themselves by permission of the 
Miamis, on the banks of the Muskingum. Here they ultimately 
joined in the league with the Miamis, Wyandotts and other tribes, 
against the encroachments of the Big Knife, of the Virginia frontier. 
" After a few years," continues Schoolcraft, " they took shelter on 
the White Water " (White River). This was with the consent of 
the Miamis. In truth it seems to have been a sort of exchange of 
territory, for it was not far from this time that the Miamis broke 
up their settlements on the Wabash, to a considerable extent, and 
went into the Ohio country to be near to the British in Canada. 

By the consent of the Miamis, and their own act, the Delawares 
became involved with all the lands watered by the White River 
and its tributaries. Before 1791, there was a Delaware village at 
the junction of the east and west forks of White River, and it may 
be assumed in the absence of evidence to the contrary that the 
first migrations to the White River country, took place about the 
middle of the last half of the eighteenth century. They were river 
Indians, and kept to the streams. Their beautiful river they named 
the Ofiecomeecah. So says H. W. Beckwith in the Twelfth Indiana 
Geological Report, 41. On Daniel Hough's map in the same report 
the name is spelled Wah-me-ca-me-ca. The late John B. Dillon, 
Esq., gave the writer the following as the Miami name of the river, 
viz. : Waufiekomica. The orthography was his. These are differ- 
ent spellings, evidently of the same name. The Delawares may 
have utilized the Miami name. All their villages were on rivers. 
From the headwaters of the west branch of White River, to its 
junction with the east fork, Delaware villages were to be met with. 
The river afforded them an easy means of communication with all 
the towns. From these centers, hunters went on excursions for 
game, usually taking their families with them and building their 
lodges in the woods where the game was to be found. One of 



these villages was in Johnson County. The reader who will ex- 
amine a map of the county will observe that White River cuts off 
the northwest corner, a fraction over a 1,000 acres. On the west 
side of the river was the site of that ancient town. The first knowl- 
edge we have of it, comes from John Tipton, one of the commis- 
sioners to locate the State Capital, who visited the spot on two 
occasions in the spring of 1820. The first notice of the ancient vil- 
lage is in his "Journal," under date of May 26: " We then returned 
to our camp and set out to examine the northwest side of the river. 
Crossed into an overflowed bottom; came to a place where the 
river turns to the west, making a very short bend; runs hard 
against the west shore and seems to be a very difficult pass for 
boats of burthen. At this place the growth is all young timber. 
Some remains of old cabins. I am told there was an Indian village 
here. Mr. William Landers^ who lives one mile back from the 
river, told me that an Indian said the French once lived here and 
that he, the Indian, went to school to" a Frenchman in this place; 
but they left it about the time of Hardin's campaign, which was 
about thirty-three years ago." On the 5th of the month following, 
John Tipton again visited the place, and writes in his Journal as 
follows: " Here I am told was once a French village; then oc- 
cupied by Delaware Indians, but evacuated by them about thirty- 
three years ago." 

The statements taken together are very interesting. They es r 
tablish the fact that the French began a settlement at the place in- 
dicated; that they subsequently abandoned it; that the Delaware 
Indians then took possession of it, and that, about 1787, they, in 
turn, abandoned it. Now, if the Delawares migrated to the White 
River country about 1775, as we may assume they did, the aban- 
donment of the town by the French was before that time. How 
long.'' Not many years. Mr. Landers moved to the country in 
1820, and the Indian told him that while the French yet lived there, 
he "went to school to a Frenchman." They had therefore aban- 
doned the place within the lifetime of a man who told his story not 
later than in the spring of 1820. This would put the time some- 
where between 1760 and 1775; and the first named year was the 
one in which, by treatv, French Dominion over the West passed 
to the English. How long before that they founded the town we 
have no means of conjecturing. Judge Franklin Hardin who has 
lived for fifty years in the neighborhood of the ancient town site, 
and who has been much interested in its history, says, that when 
William Landers came to the country there was a tract of land of 200 
acres, and was overgrown with bushes, which had once been farmed 
by the Indians. Indians still lived on that portion of the once 


cleared land, lying in White River Township on the west side of 
the river. Capt. Big Fire, Little Duck, and "Johnny Quack, are 
remembered, while on the east side, and lower down on the old 
Morgan, or Denny place, lived Capt. White, another Indian. Here 
also, was an ancient cleared field. Still below Capt. White's place, 
on the left bank of the river, was, says Judge Hardin, another 
Indian location and burial ground, but no cultivation. This encamp- 
ment was owned by Big Bear. On the old Morgan County part 
of the old Indian field, Capt. Tunis had his wigwam, and just ad- 
joining in Marion, Old Solomon, his. The wigwams were situated 
on the right bank of the river, at the southeast corner of the farm, 
near the middle of Section 31. Here seems to have been, once, 
a stone wall thirty or forty feet long and five or six feet high, built 
of portable undressed stones, and laid parallel with the river, and 
a hundred feet distant. The Indians said this wall was built for 
defensive purposes against the Kentuckians; that they had seen a 
bloody battle fought there once, between them and the whites, be- 
ginning on the east bank of the river, where they were surprised, 
and that they were forced over the river, assaulted in the town, and 
finally driven out. " That thereafter the farm had never been occu- 
pied, except by a few returning families. The size of the brush 
growing on and about the once cleared land at that date, 1820, 
showed that it had but recently been abandoned. An old Ken- 
tuckian of great reliability, Stephen Watkins, on a visit to White 
River Township, twenty-five years ago, repeated precisely the 
same history of this town, and the battle and all the circumstances 
of the fight. He went so far as to point to the near battlefield; 
he said he had the particulars from one of the actors, and knew 
them to be true. Does history give any account of this battle? 
In Dillon's History of Indiana, it is shown that the Pigeon Roost 
Massacre took place in the north part of Scott County, about 
eighty miles south of this Indian town, on the 3d day of Septem- 
ber, 181 2. The next evening, 150 mounted riflemen, under com- 
mand of Col. John McCoy, followed the trail twenty miles. On 
the 6th, the militia of Clark County (no number given) was re-en- 
forced by sixty mounted volunteers from Jefferson County, and, on 
the evening of the 7th, 350 volunteers from Kentucky were ready 
to unite with the Indiana militia of Clark and Jefferson, for the pur- 
pose of making an attack on the Delaware Indians, some of whom 
were suspected of having been engaged in the destruction of the 
Pigeon Roost settlement. * * * But, it is said, a spirit 
of rivalry which prevailed among some of the officers defeated the 
intention of those, who, at the time proposed to destroy the towns 
of the friendlv Delawares who lived on the western branch of White 


River. Now hear what Maj. John Tipton says about these 
'friendly Indians' on White River: 'In their way out, thev (the 
escaping Indians) passed the Saline or Salt Creek, and I there took 
an old trail leading direct to the Delaware towns, and it is my 
opinion that while the Government is supporting one part of that 
tribe (the Delawares), the other part is murdering our citizens. 
"It is much to be desired that those rascals of whatever tribe they 
may be harboring about these (Delaware) towns, should be routed,, 
which could be done with ioo men in seven days.' With 
this spirit and purpose openly declared by the whites, how long do 
we imagine they waited for an opportunity to execute it? Will any- 
one make me believe that 600 armed men at the Pigeon Roost 
Massacre, after viewing the slaughtered and roasted human 
bodies and burning houses, quietlv dispersed and went home? Col. 
Joseph Bartholomew raided these towns on White River with 137 
men on the 15th day of June, 181 3, He found three towns,. 
two of which had been burnt about a month before. (See Dillon, 
524.) Who destroyed them? The reason that the battle at the 
Delaware towns, if a battle did occur, and the breaking them 
up on White River was never reported, is that the Government 
during the war with the other Indian tribes in 181 1, 1812 and 
181 3, was supporting and protecting the Delawares who had 
promised to engage in peaceful pursuits. Gen. Harrison had 
directed the Delawares to remove to the Shawanee's Reservation 
in Ohio, and most of them had done so soon after the battle of Mis- 
sissinewa, December 17, 1812. Those who refused to go received 
but little mercy. But another proof of this battle is in the fact that 
on the twenty-acre field, in the southeast corner of northwest 
quarter, Section 32, Township 14 north, Range 3 east, near Capt. 
White's old camp, large numbers of leaden bullets of every size, 
battered and bruised, have been found. I have had at least 100 
of them myself, and have picked up at least nine, recently, 
in a wash of the river, and have been told of hundreds being found 
by others. I have passed a short distance from this field, on other 
grounds more suitable for finding them, but never yet found any 
except in this locality. And about three years since, on John Sut- 
ton's farm, one mile and a fourth west of the battle-field, and only 
one mile east of the Indian town, four frames of human bodies were 
washed out of a low, wet piece of bottom land. The skulls were 
carried off before I had an opportunity of examining them. No 
Indian ever buried his dead in a low, wet piece of land. They 
must have been buried there under pressing circumstances, and by 
white men." 
Judge Hardin is a close and accurate observer. He has studied 


the subject conscientiously, and his proofs are entitled to full 
"faith and credit" in all the courts of history. But I cannot agree 
with his conclusions as to the time when the battle he records was 
fought. I think it ante-dates by many years the campaigns of 1812. 
In October, 1818, the Delaware Indians ceded their lands on 
the White River to the United States, reserving the possession 
thereof for a term of three years. But before their time was up 
they left their White River homes for a country beyond the Mis- 
sissippi. They numbered, according to John Johnson, an Indian 
Agent residing in Ohio, but who seems to have been well ac- 
quainted with them, 2,300.* In the fall of 1820, a part of them 
were removed to Arkansas. f In the spring of 182 1, the remainder 
were removed. £ The county disagreeing with them, they were 
soon after given lands in Kansas, where a remnant yet remains to 
draw a yearly stipend from the United States. Parkman thus 
photographs the Delaware brave of the far west: " At the present 
day, the small remnant settled beyond the Mississippi, are among 
the bravest marauders of the west. Their war parties pierce the 
farthest wilds of the Rocky Mountains; and the prairie traveler 
may sometimes meet the Delaware warrior returning from a suc- 
cessful foray, a gaudy handkerchief bound about his brows, his snake 
locks fluttering in the wind, and his rifle resting across his saddle, 
bow while the tarnished and begrimed equipments of his half wild 
horse, bear witness that the rider has waylaid and plundered some 
Mexican cavalier." The cession of their country and final aban- 
ment by the Delawares, seems to have been the signal for the 
hunters of other tribes to rush in. For a period of five or six years, 
following 1820, numerous bands of Indians visited the county in the 
sugar-making season, and again in the fall-hunting season. Some 
families wintered here. It would be difficult and perhaps serve no 
good purpose, to give in this place an enumeration of the camping 
grounds occupied by the Indians, subsequent to the settlement of the 
county. It will be enough to refer to a few of the more noticeable 
places. The highlands of Sugar Creek were a favorite Indian 
camping ground. The Indian name of this stream was Then-a-me- 
' say. In the falls of 1824 and 1825, the Indians camped on the 
creek bluff not far from the " Sugar Creek Bridge." They are 
supposed to have been Wyandotts and were professors of the Chris- 
tian faith. It is related that they had killed a bear and one Sunday 
morning some of the white men of the vicinity visited their camp 
to purchase bear meat. They found the Indians sitting quietly in 

*See Historical Collections of Ohio, published by Henry Howe, in 1848, p. 146. 

tNiles Register, vol. 19, p. 191. 

\ Fourteenth Geological Report of Indiana, p. 3 1 . 


their camp. " What do you want?" asked one of them who could 
talk English. "Bear meat," was the answer. " Come to-morrow, 
Indians do not sell to-day." The next year, or the year after, a band 
were encamped near the headwaters of Young's Creek. One Sun- 
day morning Daniel Covert heard a strange noise in the distance 
and went to investigate. It led him into an Indian camp. They 
were at their devotions, and motioning him to a seat, he heard them 
sing hymns and utter prayers in their own tongue. They are sup- 
posed to have been the same Indians who had before that camped 
on Sugar Creek. A young Indian hunter, belonging to the same 
band, was accidently killed on Sugar Creek, and buried at the roots 
of an oak, still standing on the bluff, betwe en John Owens' house 
and the bridge. While "fire hunting" on the creek one night, he 
was shot by one of his own band by mistake. His comrades made 
a* trough of an ash tree into which they put his body and covered 
it with a slab. Over his grave they set a post, as tall as a man, 
which they painted red, with a cross-piece painted black. The 
grave was enclosed with ash palings, driven into the earth. 

When Judge Franklin Hardin, a lad of sixteen, first visited the 
country in 1825, riding double with his mother, they traveled along 
the Whetzel Trace, through what is now known as Clark Township. 
"Added to the gloom of this dismal place (the Grand Gulf), 
away to the northwest," says the Judge, " was an Indian encamp- 
ment, making the most of their privilege to hunt here. They 
seemed to be making a drive of the game southward, the direction 
we were traveling to Loper's, on Camp Creek. The constant 
crack of the rifle, the crash of the brushwood, caused by the troops 
of the flying, frightened deer, as they rushed thundering on with 
branching horns and tails erect, widespread, grandly leaping high 
above the shrubbery, with heads averted, as if to see the dis- 
tant foe, and the widely scattered flock of wild turkeys as they sped 
on with long outstretched necks, half on foot, half on wing, far as 
the eye could reach, was altogether a sight — one never to be for- 
gotten by an old lady and a boy unused to such a wild scene." The 
Indian hunters who were making such a wild display at that time, 
belonged to a Pottawattamie band that were encamped on Section 
36, Township 14, Range 4 east. James Kinnick moved to his place 
in 1832, and found thereon the remains of their camp. One of the 
wigwams was in a good state of preservation. 

On a little creek which empties into Young's Creek from the 
northeast, in Section 16, Township 12, Range 4 east (it runs about 
a mile northwest of Franklin), the Indians were in the habit of 
camping early in the year, trapping and making sugar. The little 
creek bears the name of Indian Creek, which w r as given it by Levi 


Moore, who settled on Young's Creek, close to its union with that 
creek. Moore was charged by the Indians with stealing their furs. 
But no harm ever came to him on account of it. At Henry Byers' 
place (near Mount Pleasant Church), was a noted camping ground. 
On one occasion the Indians left that camp for a few days, first 
tying their peltries in a bundle and springing it into a sapling be- 
yond the reach of any prowling beast. On their return, their 
bundle was gone.- It had evidently been stolen, but by whom, was 
never known. Not long after, William and David Burkhart, two 
brothers, living at' no great distance from Byers', each had a horse 
stolen in one night. Like the furs, the horses were never heard 
of. It was thought by many of the pioneer settlers, that the Indians 
believing the Burkharts had stolen their furs, had taken their horses 
in retaliation. 

In i82< L _ori826, a band of Wyandotts from Bellefontaine, 
camped " up the rTufric'ane " a short distance from Franklin. Samuel 
Herriott who was living in the town at the time, had a field of corn, 
and sold occasionally to the Indians, corn for their ponies. Fre- 
quently, when they would come after corn, Mr. Herriott would not 
be at home, when Mrs. Herriott, would see that they got their 
corn. She was, however, afraid of them, and always gave them 
something to eat, which kindness the Indians highly appreciated. 
There was a squaw belonging to the party by the name of Matilda, 
who had a pappoose, and Mrs. Herriott having heard of it, and her 
fear of the Indians having abated, she invited Matilda to come and 
see her and bring her pappoose. One evening at dusk, three In- 
dian men, Matilda and a boy, walked unannounced into the Her- 
riott home. After seeing that her company was seated around the 
fire and duly inquiring after their health, she turned to Matilda and 
'lasked, "Where is your baby?" "O, sitting up to the outside of 
the house!" was the mother's answer, and sure enough, on going 
out, there in the gathering gloom of the night, was the baby 
strapped firmly to a board. 

During that evening's visit, an incident occurred that gready 
frightened Mrs. Herriott. The baby had been brought in out of the 
night air and leaned up against the wall on the inside, and host and 
hostess and their guests were sitting around the blazing fire engaged 
in conversation. Mrs. Herriott "and Matilda were at one side, and 
Mr. Herriott next to them, and after him came Dr. Grey Eyes, and 
then Jocko, and last of all an "ill-looking Indian" whose name has 
been forgotten. During the conversation, Jocko arose to his feet 
and presented Mr. Herriott a paper, which, on reading, he found to 
be a certificate from Gen. Cass, showing that Jocko had rendered 
important services to the United States in the War of 18.12. Ma- 


tilda had become interested in the matter by this time, and as some- 
thing had been said about Pittsburg, she said to Mr. Herriott to ask 
Jocko if he had ever been there; and in response to the question, 
Jocko took a coal and making a map on the floor, pointed out the 
place where Pitsburg should be, and said "Yes." "Ever been to 
Philadelphia?" "Yes." "To Baltimore?" "Yes." "To Wash- 
ington?" "Yes." And to other questions as to what places he 
had been in and persons seen in Washington, prompt answers came. 
After that Matilda and Mr. Herriott became engaged in conver- 
sation and during its progress Mr. Herriott noticed a pallor over- 
spread his wife's face, followed by a visible trembling. Becoming 
alarmed, he was in the act of going to her relief, when he felt a 
clutch at his hair, and on turning around encountered Jocko, who 
had his knife out and was going through the motions of taking his 
scalp. This was Jocko's joke. 

The high and dry lands bordering upon Indian Creek, in Hens- 
ley Township, afforded inviting camping grounds to the Indians. 
From this circumstance came the name. In the fall of 1824, the 
largest number of Indians ever known to enter the county, camped 
on Indian Creek. The number was estimated by the settlers at 
100, consisting mainlv of Miamis, with a few Pottawattmies. 
After a short time there the last, numbering about twelve, withdrew 
from the Miami camp, and made another on the south fork of the 
creek, in the southeast quarter of Section 27. After the fall hunt 
was over, about half of the entire number went elsewhere, and 
those left behind staid there all through the winter and until late 
in the fall of 1825. These Indians seem to have behaved them- 
selves quite well. Among so many, it would be strange if there 
were not some who would steal. Richardson Hensley had cause 
to complain of the squaws in green corn time. Under pretense of 
buying his roasting ears, they would steal them before his eyes. 
" In spite of me," he said to the writer, " they would pull the ears 
and hide them in their blankets. Often I have jerked at one cor- 
ner of the blanket and scattered the stolen corn on the ground." 
They also stole a dog belonging to John Stevens. His boys, Alex- 
ander and Gideon, and a foster son, Ephraim Hareell, went to their 
camp on Sunday in search of the dog, which they found tied securely, 
and took him home with them. The camp was deserted save an old 
man and his squaw. Their wigwam was made by stretching 
skins over a pole frame. In the center of the ground floor was a 
fire over which they had hung a brass pot, in which they were 
cooking an unwashed and unskinned bear's head, together with a 
quantity of black beans. 

It seems that no Indian ever seriously violated the civil laws ir 


Johnson County. If the Burkhart horses were stolen by the Indians, 
it was never known. On one occasion a riot was threatened by the In- 
dians in Franklin, which at the time, foreboded evil. It was in 1825, 
and most likely the Indians from Indian Creek were the chief 
actors. It was on the occasion of the fall muster, and Bartholo- 
mew Carroll, of Union Township, came, provided with whisky and 
honey, to sell to all who would buy. The Indians present were 
among his best patrons. Toward evening they became somewhat 
boisterous and some of them insisted on having whisky and honey 
free. This being refused, they mounted the wagon and proceeded 
to help themselves. With the aid of the cooler heads of the band, 
they were induced to desist. Mounting their ponies, however, they 
galloped around the public square whooping and screeching at the 
top of their voices, and finally left town. The militia present were 
armed and it required all the persuasive influence of the leading 
citizens, to hold the more hot-headed in check and prevent a collis- 
ion. After 1826, but few, if any, Indians ever returned to the county 
to engage in any of their pursuits. , 



Early Settlements — Territorial Times — Traces and 
Early Roads — The Whetzels — The Bluffs — Strug- 
gle for the State Capitol — First Permanent Settle- 
ment — Story of the Settlement by Townships — The 
White and Blue River Settlements — Founding Frank- 
lin — Reminiscences. 

^NDIANA was admitted as a State of the Union in 
1816. Delegates from thirteen counties framed the new 
State's constitution. The population at the time of ad- 
mission was 63,897. The settled parts constituted a nar- 
row fringe, extending from Wayne County, down the 
Ohio State line, to the Ohio River, thence down that to 
the Wabash, and thence up that to Fort Harrison, now 
Terre Haute. Throughout the entire region north of the 
border, savage Indians roamed. The White River, and its numerous 
tributaries, were owned and occupied mainly by the Delawares. The 
region was no less remarkable for the great abundance of game 
found in its forests, and of fish in its waters, than for the fertility of 



its soil. The Indians were loth to part with their possessions, and 
the white people eagerly desirous of having them do so. After 
one or two abortive attempts to procure a cession, in October, 18 18, 
a treaty was made, under which the Delawares surrendered their 
claim, and consented to their removal to a new home beyond the 
Mississippi, which was effected in the spring of 1821. Thereafter, 
their old possessions were known far and wide as the " New Pur- 
chase." Bands of Weas, Potawattamies and Miamis claimed small 
parts of this territory, and ceded the same, as did the Delawares, 
but the latter held undivided claim to all of Johnson County.' 

Before the time of their going, the smoke from white men's 
•cabins was seen in many places throughout their domains. Bloom- 
ington, on the border, was settled in the early part of 1819. The 
same year, three permanent settlements were planted in Barthol- 
omew County, one in Morgan and one in -Marion, where Indianapolis 
was subsequently located. In 1818, James Wilson settled on the 
Blue River banks, four miles north of the present site of Shelby- 
ville, and in the following year, a number of other pioneers, with 
their families, moved into Shelby County. 

Trappers' and hunters' camps were to be met with along the 
streams, and in other favored places, all through the ceded region. 
It was not only celebrated for its great abundance of game, but 
also for its fur bearing animals, the most valuable of which was the 
beaver. Their dams and ponds were everywhere to be seen in 
the level lands of the country. Long anterior to the time of the 
treatv, the White River countrv had been the scene of the trappers' 
exploits. The Canadian vovageurs came as early as in the latter 
half of the seventeenth century. A hundred years afterward they 
were followed by the agents of the Northwest Company, and of 
the Mackinaw Company, which were British corporations. The 
American Fur Company, with John Jacob Astor at its head, fol- 
lowed about the beginning of the present century. All these drew 
large supplies of furs from the White River country. 

The territory framed into Johnson County, lay along the line 
of an ancient Indian highway. Geologists tell us that in the night 
of time there flowed a glacial river southward through Johnson 
County toward the Falls of the Ohio, at Louisville. The print of 
its bed remains to this day. That ancient river bed presents a 
comparatively smooth and even surface, nearly or quite all the way 
to the Falls. The buffalo that once traveled in herds from their 
winter feeding grounds in the Kentucky canebrakes to their sum- 
mer pastures, on the Wabash, doubtless traveled over that smooth 
and level, ancient river bed. Certain it is the Indians did, and after 


the day of civilization had come, the engineers laid out the line of 
railroad from Jeffersonville to Indianapolis upon it. 

The Falls was a celebrated Indian crossing place. At the mouth 
of the Kentucky River was another. Thence, bearing northwesterly, 
a trail ran till it united with the Ancient River trail, not far from 
the upper rapids of the Inqaah sahquah, the Indian name for the 
Driftwood River. At the mouth of the Kentucky, Brig. Gen. Charles 
Scott, with 800 mounted men, crossed the Ohio, on the 23d of May, 
1 791, on the march to the Wea village, eight miles below the 
present site of Lafayette. The route~^e took was, according to his 
report, " the most direct," and this would be along the line of 
the Kentucky River trail to the Driftwood, and thence along the 
Ancient River trail, through the territory of Johnson County. Not 
many years ago a broken sword blade and hilt with a pistol attached, 
was found in a running stream four miles south of Franklin. It be- 
longed to a pattern of cavalryman's weapon that has long been out 
of vogue, but was to be met with a hundred years ago, and the in- 
ference seems reasonable that it was cast aside or lost by one of 
Gen. Scott's troopers on that march. All through the period of 
border warfare, the Indians living upon the Wabash and upon the 
upper waters of the White River, made frequent forays along these 
trails to the Kentucky settlements. Many a pale face's scalp has, 
no doubt, been carried at the belt of a brave, and many a white 
prisoner, foot sore and weary, has been driven by his savage cap- 
tors, through the gloomy forests of this county. Later, in' the con- 
tests between civilization and savagery, the yeomen soldiery from 
the settlements in the river counties, not infrequently followed the 
Ancient River trail in pursuit of their savage foes. Maj. Tipton, 
Col. Bartholomew, and others, were leaders in these expeditions, 
but there came a day when the wars were ended, and the trails be- 
came highways of peace. In the settlement of central Indiana the 
Kentucky River trail and the Ancient River trail were for a time 
important highways. Some of the first settlers -found their 
way to the White River wilderness by them. Some time in 1819, 
Capt. Richard Berry, following the Kentucky River trail out to the 
Blue River crossing, built a cabin and established a ferry. North 
and south of his new home he blazed the old trail, and thereafter 
it came to be known as " Berry's trail." From the crossing at 
Blue River (a mile below the present site of Edinburg), it ran in a 
general northwest direction till it crossed Burkhart's Creek, in Sec- 
tion 20, Township 12 north, Range 4 east. Thence it kept a gen- 
eral north course, passing the Big Spring at Hopewell, and entering 
Marion County territorv near the northwest corner of Pleasant 



Long after the settlement of the county, and the abandonment 
of the trail, evidences of it could be seen in the notches and blazes 
on the trees along its course. Two miles north of the Big Spring, 
at Hopewell, near the late residence of Daniel Covert, and in the 
near vicinity of a deer lick, in addition to axe marks on the trees, 
inscriptions cut in the bark were long to be seen. On one were the 
letters : ibmal 1812. On another: e. maxwell 1814.* Still another 
was the legend, " forty rods to water |3|FV' A never-failing 
spring burst from the banks of the creek at the place indicated. 

In 1818, Jacob Whetzel, an inhabitant of Franklin -County, in 
this state, became the owner of a tract of land in what was known 
as " Harrison's Purchase," near the mouth of Eel River, to reach 
which, by the ordinary route of travel, required a journey by the 
way of Louisville. But Jacob Whetzel was not the man to, go 
a round-about way when a nearer lay through the woods. He was 
of that Whetzel family so celebrated in border warfare. He had 
been used to the wilderness all his life, and was not a stranger to 
Indian fighting. When eleven years of age, his father had been 
killed, and himself and Lewis, a brother two years older, taken 
prisoners. Crossing the Ohio River, near which his father's cabin 
stood (which was not far from Wheeling, W. Va.), the Indians led 
the lads a distance of twenty miles in the Ohio woods, and camped 
for the night. Under cover of the darkness they escaped, and, 
eluding their enemies, who followed in hot haste, they reached the 
Ohio, which they crossed in safety, to find their father's cabin in 
ashes, and his mutilated body a prey to the wild beasts. It is said 
the boys vowed eternal enmity to the Indians, a vow which the elder 
kept in letter and spirit to the day of his death. His name never 
ceased, as long as he lived, to be a terror to the red men, and it is 
connected with many of the most romantic and thrilling episodes 
of border warfare. 

Jacob Whetzel seems to have been of a less sanguinary disposi- 
tion than his brother Lewis, although he bore his part well in the 
Indian wars of his time. He was in many of the principal cam- 
paigns, and rendered to both Generals St. Clair and Harrison, sig- 
nal service as a spy. But when the fighting was done, he settled 
down to the peaceable life of an agriculturist. Nevertheless he 
remained a woodsman in a sense, and so the Eel River purchase 
being made, he applied to Anderson, the chief of the Delawares, 
and from him obtained a license to cut a trace from Brookville, on 
the White Water, to the White River. This was in June, 1818, 
and in July following, he set out to perform the work. His son 

* Edward Maxwell, a brother of Dr. David H. Maxwell, who afterward lived and died at 
Bloomington, was living at the time at Madison, 


Cyrus, a youth of eighteen, accompanied him, as also did Thomas 
Howe, Thomas Rush, Richard Rush and Walter Banks. His plan 
was to reach White River, and work back to Brookville. Taking 
one of the men, Thomas Rush, he went in advance, marking the 
route, leaving his son and the rest of the men to follow with nine 
days' provisions. Cyrus and his men had not entered far into the 
wilderness when, late one evening, they met a party of Indians 
whose actions, notwithstanding their warm protestations of friend- 
ship, excited suspicion. The two parties passed each other, but 
the white men who were unarmed, kept a more vigilant guard that 
night than was common even in that day. The night set in cloudy, 
and rain soon began falling, but the hours passed quietly on, until 
the camp fire burned low, when the man on guard discovered In- 
dians lurking in the vicinity. Quietly waking his sleeping com- 
panions, they as quietly abandoned their camp, and, notwithstand- 
ing the gloom of the night, they followed Jacob Whetzel and his 
man, by " feeling of the notches and blazes cut in the trees." 
Whatever the motive that led the red men to prowl around their 
camp-fire that night, nothing more was seen of them again on that 

Meeting with no other hindrances, save such as were incident 
to the trackless wilderness, Cyrus Whetzel and his comrades 
journeyed on in the path indicated by the blazing of the trees, and 
crossed Flat Rock about seven miles below the present site of Rush- 
ville and Blue River, about four miles above Shelbyville and Sugar 
Creek, a little north of Boggstown. On reaching a water-course a 
few miles east of White River, a nest of honey bees was discovered 
in the hollow limb of a walnut tree, which yielded a liberal supply 
of honey; but it was too bitter to be eaten, and reluctantly they 
threw it away. Nevertheless, from this circumstance, came the 
name of " Honey Creek," the first creek within the borders of this, 
county to receive a name at the hands of white men. 

White River was struck at the Bluffs, the place being so named 
by Jacob Whetzel at the time, and we may well imagine that the 
scene which met the gaze of himself and companions was such as 
they little expected to see. Jacob Whetzel had set out to reach by 
a short cut a home at the mouth Of the Eel River; but standing on 
the Bluff in the July days, he looked out over a wide, deep and 
rapidly flowing river, through whose clear depths the eye could 
penetrate to the white pebbles that lay on the bottom, far below, 
whose waters swarmed with fish, and whose level bottoms and the 
adjacent rolling uplands were covered with great forests that grew 
from a soil of wonderful richness, and there on the banks of the 
Ofie-co-mee-cah, of the Delaware tongue, he resolved to. establish 
his future home. 


Jacob Whetzel went alone down the river to his Eel River pos- 
sessions, while young Cyrus, with the axemen, turned back and be- 
gan the work of cutting out what was long known as "Whetzel's 
Trace." Their progress was slow. A path was cut of sufficient 
width to admit the passage of a team. Their chosen route led 
them by what is now known as " Doty's Hill." After passing the 
rolling land extending a short distance back from the river, they 
found a level country, which at that season of the year, was one con- 
tinuous swamp. In the dry seasons of previous years the Indians 
had burned it off, and the road makers went farther in their work 
that first day than any succeeding one. They reached the place of 
an ancient beaver dam near the present eastern boundary line of 
Pleasant Township. It was built across the outlet of a swamp and 
made a pond of water a half mile long, and varying in width from 
a few yards to several hundred, but at that time it apparently had 
long been deserted by its furry inhabitants. 

The road these men made wound in and out among the trees 
and around the fallen logs as sinuous as a "runway." The pur- 
pose of its makers was to make a path along which the Whetzel 
teams could travel to the White River. They had no thought of 
any subsequent travel. 

At the Hurricane, which they crossed in Section 18,. Town 13 
north, Range 5 east, and which afforded the only running water 
between Honey Creek and Sugar Creek, they established their 
camp, and thence worked on the road east and west. This they 
found to be a good camp site, and it occurred to Cyrus Whetzel to 
name the stream Camp Creek, a name that afterward gave place to 
Covert's Creek, and that in time to the present name, Hurricane, 
so given to commemorate a wind storm that prior to the settlement 
of the country had prostrated much of the timber along its course. 

Slowly hewing their way through the woods eastward, the axe- 
men came at length to a great swamp about two miles west of the 
present east boundary line of the county, which was known in the 
early day as the Great Gulf. This was a mile in width and two 
miles in length. Two streams, Flat Creek and the Leatherwood, 
entered the low land, constituting the gulf at its northern end, and 
their combined waters at the southern made Little Sugar Creek. 
Sugar Creek was already named when the Whetzels came. Its 
Indian name of Theu-a-me-say was not in use among the white 
trappers and hunters who were already familiar with it. Great for- 
ests of sugar trees grew at intervals along its banks, to which the 
Indians themselves, in the sugar making season, came, and to the 
circumstance of these growing trees, it is supposed the present 
name of the stream is owing. 


Cyrus Whetzel never forgot the hardships endured while cut- 
ting out the "Whetzel Trace," and especially that part of it lying 
between Camp Creek and Sugar Creek. "We were often mid- 
sides in water," said he, "and at night we had to make brush heaps 
on which to sleep." 

After crossing Sugar Creek they cut through to the next 
considerable stream, a distance of five miles, encamping on its banks 
late one evening, when Jacob Whetzel, on his return from his Eel 
River expedition, rejoined them. After the scanty meal of the 
evening, Jacob produced a bottle of peach brandy, which he 
had procured in Owen County, and over it, the part)- in a merry 
mood, pledged the memory of wives and sweethearts at home. 
To the inspiration due to that bottle, are the people of Shelby 
County indebted for the name of one of their prettiest streams — 
Brandyvrine. The name was given that night. Soon after, their 
provisions giving out, the road making was abandoned, and Whet- 
zel and his men went on to their homes; but in a short time he re- 
turned and completed his work. WhetzeFs trace proved of consid- 
erable importance in the settlement of Marion, Johnson, Morgan and 
Shelby counties. Hundreds of the early settlers traveled over all 
or parts of it in search of wilderness homes. 

The following March, 18 19, Jacob Whetzel, with his son 
Cyrus, returned to the Bluffs. Selecting a camping ground about 
500 yards below the place where the Waverly mills were 
afterward built, he began building a cabin, but ere this was done, 
a violent snow storm came on and lasted until the snow was fifteen 
inches deep. At length, he prepared a place of shelter, and that 
spring cleared a small field in which he planted corn, not forgetting 
to plant a quantity of peach seeds he had brought with him. The 
following fall he moved his family to his new home, and thus he 
became the first settler in Morgan County. 

The permanent settlements of the Delaware Indians were on 
White River, and their favorite mode of travel was in canoes along 
that stream. But their towns were nevertheless connected by 
trails, usually winding through the forests not far from the river. 
Through that part of Johnson County, in which White River runs, 
the Indian trail was on the east bank of the stream. Indeed, the 
highway from Martinsville to Indianapolis, which passes through 
Waverly and over the Bluffs, runs, in the main, not far from the 
line of that ancient trail. Other trails intersected it coming from 
the south, and so the White River trail was an important highway 
of the red men. And it cut some figure in the colonization of 
Johnson County by the white men. While many of the early set- 
lers came into White River Township by the Whetzel trace, the 


very first ones came by the White River ctrail, and it is therefore 
deserving of notice in this place. 

From the year of the admission of Indiana, up to the time of 
the taking of the census in 1820,' the population of the State more 
than doubled. The census showed a population of 147,178 in 
1820. Indiana was well advertised abroad during the Indian wars. 
It had been well traversed by a citizen soldiery, principally from 
Kentucky, and the wars being over, the same soldiery and their 
friends came in large numbers in hunt of homes. 

On the nth of January, 1820, commissioners were appointed 
bv the General Assembly to locate a new seat of government, 
which was done in the month of June following. John Tipton, who 
was subsequently elected to a seat in the United States Senate from 
Indiana, was a member of that commission, and he has left a Jour- 
nal containing an account of the travels and action of himself and 
the commission, which, although very brief, and written without 
any pretence of literary skill, is nevertheless packed with valuable 
information to the student of the past. Tipton and Gov. Jennings 
set out from their homes at Corydon on the 17th of May. They 
laid in plenty of " baken coffey etc.," and took with them " Bill, a 
black boy" and a tent. Striking the ancient river trail some- 
where below the present site of Columbus, they traveled thereon 
all the way through this county and on to the mouth of Fall Creek, 
above the present site of Indianapolis. The party, which had in- 
creased on the way till it numbered seven, did not reach Bezzy's 
place till Saturday evening, the 20th of the month. It took them 
four days to ride from Corydon to that place, and two hours and a 
quarter to ride from the upper rapids of the In-quah-sah-quah. 
With Bezzy they staid over night. Tipton, who " had an eye for 
good ground, and at various times owned large tracts," saw the 
beauty of the prospect around him. " Good land, good water and 
timber," he wrote in his Journal. The next morning at half after 
four o'clock they set out again, but now that these commissioners, 
accompanied by the Governor of the State, are traveling through 
Johnson County over an Indian path, and their movements become 
more interesting to the thread of this history, the Journal becomes 
provokingly obscure. It says: 

" Sunday, twenty-first,, set out at half-past four. At five passed 
a corner of Section 36, Township 1 1 north, of Range 4 east, passed a 
place where Bartholomew and myself had encamped in June, 181 3, 
missed our way. Traveled east then. At 8 o'clock stopped on a 
muddy branch, boiled our coffey. At 9:30 turned back. I killed 
a deer, the first one I have killed since 1814. Came on the train 
(trail) at 10; found tree where J had wrote my name on the 19th 


of June, 1813. We traveled fast and at 7 encamped on a small 
creek, having traveled about forty-five miles." 

It was the northeast corner of the southeast Section of 
Nineveh Township, that was passed at 5 o'clock that Sunday morn- 
ing; but where was it that General Bartholomew and himself had 
encamped in June, 181 3? It was after passing that corner they 
missed their way and traveled east. If we knew the time that 
elapsed after passing the Section corner, before they missed their 
way, we might, with some degree of certainty, locate the " muddy 
branch " and perhaps identify the very farm whereon the future 
United States Senator killed his deer, that Sunday, June morning, so 
many years ago, and may be find the spot where grew the tree on 
which he wrote his name on the 19th of June, 1813. But the most 
we can say, is, that the encampment must have been in Nieveh 
Township. The boiling of the " coffey " and the shooting of the 
deer, most likely took place within the borders of Blue River, and 
the tree on which the name was written may have been in Nineveh 
Township, but was probably in Franklin Township. 

The Commissioners were sworn in on the 23rd of May, and 
made the location on the 7th of June, fifteen days having been spent 
traveling up and down the country examining the several places men- 
tioned in connection therewith. One of these was the Bluffs on White 
River. Recurring to Tipton's Journal, we find of the date of May 
26th, this: "The bluff is about 150 feet above the river, but very 
uneven. The water good. * * Out of this bluff issues a num- 
ber of fine springs, one of which some distance back from the river, 
has near twenty feet fall. Back of this bluff is a beautiful creek. 
They (the bluffs) front on the river near one mile. If they were 
level on top it would be the most beautiful site for a town that I 
have ever seen." 

Two of the commissioners favored the Bluff for the capital lo- 
cation, but the majority went for the present site of Indianapolis. 
Before the commission to locate the capital set forth on their work, 
the United States Surveyors had begun their work in the New 
Purchase, and they kept it up, long after the capital site was chosen. 
All of Nineveh Township was surveyed by Abraham Lee, as early 
as the month of September in 1819. In June, 1820, John Hen- 
dricks surveyed so much of Franklin Township as lies in Congres- 
sional Township 12, Range 5, and, in- August of that year, Thomas 
Hendricks surveyed Congressional Township 12, Range 4, being 
in the west part of Franklin Township. In the same month of 
August, John Hendricks surveyed all the lands comprised within 
the present boundaries of Blue River Township, and, as soon as he 
had completed this, he went over and surveyed the Congressional 



Township, better known as Union, and, while he was at that, B. 
Bently was surveying Hensley. W. B. McLaughlin surveyed all 
of White River, in Congressional Township 14, and Bently all that 
is in Township 13 ; and, later in the season, all the territory now con- 
tained within Pleasant Township was surveyed by Thomas Hen- 
dricks, while John Hendricks surveyed all contained within Clark 

First Permanent Settlement. — The time has now come when 
the first permanent settlement is to be planted in Johnson County. 
In 18 1 4 a young man by the name of John Campbell, born and 
reared in Tennessee, went to find a home north of the Ohio. Fate 
directed his footsteps to the vicinity of Waynesville, in the State of 
Ohio, where he married Ruth Perkins, a native of South Carolina. 
In 1817 he moved to Connersville, and in 1820 to the "new pur- 
chase" on Blue River. It was as early as the latter part of Feb- 
ruary, when, with his wife and four sons he set out through the 
wilderness to become the first settler of a county that was yet un- 
formed and unnamed. Four little girls belonged to his household, 
but these were left behind to follow on horseback, when the home 
was prepared for them. A neighbor, Benjamin' Crews, went with 
him and helped to clear a path and drive his domestic animals and 
team. The road which they cut must'have been the most prim- 
itive of paths, for, when two years after, Alexander Thompson, 
Israel Watts and William Reynolds came over the same general 
route, they found a wagon road to Flat Rock, south of Rushvilfe, 
but thence on they were compelled to cut their own way. 

Campbell reached the Blue River on Saturday, the 4th of 
March, and at once began the erection of a pole cabin, on the tract 
of land lying immediately south of the present site of Edinburg, 
and the same spring cleared a small field which he enclosed with a 
brush fence to keep out his own stock, in time to raise a crop of 
corn. Crews returned to Connersville for his family and moved 
to Campbell's neighborhood the same spring, arriving on the 17th 
of April. On a spot already selected by him, which afterward 
proved to be on the Bartholomew side of the line, he encamped 
the evening of his arrival. That night his son Jonathan, a lad ■ 
eight years of age, while lying down and looking at the moon, 
through the limbs of a large tree, " saw something reach out a 
hand and pull up a limb," to which he at once called his father's 
attention, who said it was a coon. The next morning, on inspec- 
tion, the tree was found to be hollow, and Benjamin Crews at once 
cut it down, and as it fell crashing to the ground, a she bear and her 
two cubs tumbled to the earth from their den in a hollow limb. 
The dogs at once mounted the old beast, but cuffing them right 


and left, she made her escape, leaving her cubs in the hands of 
their captors. Stripping the horses of their halters the two young 
bears were soon securely tied, but the horses now thoroughly 
alarmed at the unwonted commotion, and finding themselves at 
liberty, took the back track for the White Water country and ran 
eight miles before being overtaken and recaptured. 

John Campbell's neighbors were Crews and Richard Beny, the 
latter who lived a little over a mile below him, but within the pres- 
ent limits of Bartholomew County, whither he had removed the year 
before. But he did not have to wait long for others to come in. 
A half dozen or more families, it is said, moved into the Blue River 
woods, the same spring, but this is not certain. A large number 
did come in during the year. The lands since incorporated, in part, 
into Blue River Township, were surveyed in August of that year, 
and on the 4th of October, the same year, were exposed for sale at 
the land office in Brookville. That day these purchases were made 
of Blue River lands ( which were the first within the county ) by James 
Jacobs, William W. Robinson, and John Campbell, (who afterward 
lived in Sugar Creek), and on the day following, John Campbell, 
the first settler, and eight others made entries. Thirty-nine entries 
in all were made before the close of the year, covering a total of 
4,400 acres. 

As far as now known, eighteen families moved into the new 
settlement during the year, of which Henry Catsinger, Simon 
Schaffer, Jesse Dawson, Zachariah Sparks, Elias Brock and 
Joseph Townsend, were Kentuckians; William Williams, and as 
already stated, John Campbell, were Tennesseeans; Amos Durbin 
was from Virginia; John A. Mow and Joshua Palmer, were from 
Ohio; Isaac Marshall and John Wheeler were from North Caro- 
lina; Samuel Herriott, from Pensylvania, while the native places of 
Louis Bishop, Thomas Ralston and Richard Cormorave are un- 

The second year of the settlement, twenty-seven families are 
.known to have moved in. Elisha Adams came from Kentucky 
and moved to the north end of the township, and founded the 
Adams neighborhood. Richard Foster -and John and William, 
his brothers, Patrick Adams, Patrick Cowan, Arthur Robinson, 
Curtis Pritchard, David Webb, William R. Hensley, William C. 
Robinson, James Farrell, John Adams, John P. Barnett, Jacob 
Cutsinger, Isaac Harvey (a Baptist preacher), Lewis Hays, 
William Rutherford, Jefferson D. Jones, Thomas Russell and 
Samuel Aldridge, all Kentuckians; and Isaac Collier, Israel Watts 
and Jonathan Hougham, Ohioans; and Alexander Thompson, from 
Virginia;. Jesse Wells and Thomas Doan, from North Carolina, 


and William Reynolds, from Tennesee, moved in. By the close of 
this year, the lands contiguous to Blue River were taken up, and a 
line of settlement extended nearly across the south side of the town- 
ship, while John Campbell, an Irishman, had laid the foundation of 
a settlement at the mouth of Sugar Creek, and Lewis Hays and 
William Rutherford had joined John Adams' settlement higher up 
the creek. 

In 1822, fourteen families moved in. Of these Able Webb, 
James Connor, Hezekiah Davison, William Hunt, James M. Dan- 
iels, John Shipp, William Barnett, David Durbin, Hiram Ald- 
ridge and Thomas Russell were from Kentucky; Charles Martin 
and Samuel Umpstead were from Ohio; and it is not ascertained 
whence came Baker Wells and Samuel Johnson, who came in 
this year. In 1823, William Freeman moved from Bartholomew 
County into the township, and Richard Shipp and John Hen- 
drickson also moved in. All these were. Kentucky born. By the 
close of 1823, there were at least sixty-three families living in the 

Let us turn now from the southeast to the northwest, from Blue 
River to White River. Capt. White, an Indian, early in 1820, 
was found occupying a tract of land on the east bank of White 
sRiver, since known as the Denny place, and being near the Center 
of the northwest quarter of Section 32, in Township 14 north, 
Range 3 east. Here was an extensive Indian clearing. Capt. 
White left the country the same spring, going with his people, the 
Delawares, to Arkansas, and in the " month of April or May," the 
same year, one Daniel Morgan, a bachelor from western Pennsyl- 
vania moved to White's place and took possession. He cultivated 
a small field of corn," but the squirrels devoured his crop before 
maturity, and he returned to the land of his nativity. In the fall of 
the same year, George Beeler, a resident of Morgan County, with 
his wife and sister-in-law, moved to Capt. White's place, 'and took 
posession; but Beeler died the same fall, and the White camp was 
once more vacated. 

The following spring another man moved to the Capt. White 
place. This was Abraham Sells, a Virginian, who came to Wash- 
ington County, in Indiana, about the middle of February, 1821. 
" Leaving the female members of his family in that county, accom- 
panied by his brother John Sells and four of his sons, and three of 
his own, Isaac, William and Franklin, he set out for the White 
River and reached Jacob Whetzel's about the 1st of March." He 
had crossed over to the Indian trail, on the east bank of White 
River, up which he traveled, entering White River Township on 
Friday, the 3d day of March, 1821, and at once he took possession 


of White's old wigwam. Abraham Sell's came to stay. He and 
his, brought seventy-five hogs, eleven cattle and eight horses, be- 
sides a goodly assortment of tools and provisions for the summer. 
Their families were to come in the fall. The hogs and cattle were 
turned into the woods to shift for themselves, together with such 
of the horses as were not in immediate use. A field of five or six 
acres was " brushed out " and enclosed with a temporary fence and 
planted in corn. " West of the river was an old hackberry dead- 
ening, containing fifteen acres, requiring but little labor to bring it 
into cultivation. In the year 1820, and in years subsequent, a small 
green worm stripped the hackberry trees of all their leaves, killing 
them in a few weeks."* That was also planted in corn. The corn 
grown on the Capt. White place was broken into and destroyed by 
their own hogs. After the crop was laid by, all except two of the 
company returned to Washington County, where John Sells, the 
brother of Abraham, and the latter's son, Issac, died. Late in the 
fall the others, with their families and household stuff, rejoined 
their White River brethren, and the permanency of their settlement 
was maintained. 

Abraham Sells may justly be accounted as the first English- 
speaking white man to make a permanent home in White River 
Township. Close upon his heels, came Thomas Lowe, a North 
Carolinian, with his family and his two sons-in-law, Permenter 
Mullenix and William Sanders, and their families. Sells entered 
the township, as we have seen, on the third day of of March, 182 1, 
and Lowe came "between the 3d and 10," a very few days after. 
The latter settled on a choice tract of land in Section 8, about two 
miles northeast of the Bluffs, and at once made preparation for 
raising a corn crop, the ensuing season. About the middle of the 
same month of March, David Scott moved from near Bloomington, 
Ind., to White River Township, and camped just below the mouth of 
Pleasant Run,j- near Abraham Sells, and cleared and planted a 
'field of corn. His family he left behind, proposing to move them 
out the coming fall. Late in the Summer, however, his horses es- 
caped, and he became so much discouraged, that he sold out to 
Sells,- and abandoned the county. 

On Wednesday, the 10th day of May, following, John Doty and 
his family, from Hamilton County, Ohio, entered the township. 
He had set out with his large family and all of his worldly possess- 
ions in search of a home "in the West," and entering the Whetzel 
trace at its eastern terminus, had traveled upon it till within three 

* Judge Franklin Harden. John Tipton mentions a similar circumstance as being seen 
near the capital location. 

t So named, it is said, because it was a pleasant running stream. 



miles of its western end at the Bluffs. Coming to a shapely, well- 
wooded hill, then, as now, a landmark, along the northern side of 
which the trace ran, he was so well pleased with the outlook that 
he unvoked his cattle and made a camp, and "went to living." 
The next morning after their arrival, he and his three sons, 
Peter,' Samuel, and George, began a clearing, and by hard work 
they managed to plant three or four acres in corn, which, when 
earing time came, fell a prey to the raccoons. It is said these ro- 
dents came in droves, and stripped it of the last nubbin. 

During the time the father and sons were making their clear- 
ing, the family occupied an open camp and were greatly annoyed 
by rattle snakes. One morning while at breakfast, they were hor- 
rified at the sight of a monster which came crawling in at the open 
door of their camp. It had been attracted, it is supposed, by the 
odor of frying venison. More than thirty of these venemous reptiles 
were killed in and about the hill the first season. The next per- 
sons to move in, were Daniel Boaz and John Ritchey. These men 
with their families moved in one vehicle. Boaz was a Virginian, by 
birth, and Ritchey a Kentuckian. They came to White River in the 
fall of 182 1, and were the last of the arrivals for that year. The 
close of the year saw eight families living in the White River 
settlement. Twelve more, it is certainly known, came the year 
following, 1822. These were Archibald Glenn, and John Murphy, 
from Kentucky; Nathan and Benjamin Culver, from East Tennes- 
see; Nathanial St. John, from Ohio; Daniel Etter, Michael Brown, 
Andrew Brown, and one or two others, who long since left the 
county, from Virginia; and William and Samuel Blean, who were 
born in Ireland. By the close of the second 3-ear, after the first 
settlement was made, not less than 100 people were living in the 
White River settlement. 

Two settlement centers, the Blue River and the White River, 
have been under review; let us pass to a third. In the spring of 
1S21, Amos Durbin settled on the outskirts of the Blue River settle- 
ment, so far from its center that when the civil townships came to 
be organized, he was found to be in Nineveh Township, and he is 
therefore entitled to the destinction of being named as the first 
settler of Nineveh. The township derived its name from its prin- 
cipal creek, and it in turn from the following circumstance : Rich- 
ard Berry had a son, Nineveh, who, while hunting one winter's day, 
crossed the creek, which was orginally known as the Leatherwood, 
and killed a deer. With it on his back he undertook to recross the 
stream on a log, but loosing his footing he fell in, and came near being 
drowned. His father ever after spoke of the stream as "Nineveh's 


Defeat," but the early settlers dropped the latter half of the name, 
calling it Nineveh, and it is so known to this day. 

But another man must be accredited with the honor of founding 
the first distinctive Nineveh neighborhood. That man was Robert 
Worl, of whom but little is now known. He was an Ohioan, who 
set out for the New Purchase the latter part of the summer of 
1 82 1. With his family and a few personal effects he floated down 
the Ohio in a boat to some point on the Indiana shore, whence 
he made his way over the Indian trails to the Blue River Settle- 
ment, and thence through a pathless forest to Leatherwood Creek, 
or as it is now known, the Nineveh, where he arrived sometime in 
the month of September, and at once erected a pole cabin on the 
bank of the creek, a mile east of the present site of Williamsburg. 
Worl and his family lived alone through the fall and winter, de- 
pending for food mainly on the rifle. The region round about 
was filled with game. Wild turkeys, deer and bears were as 
plentiful as domestic stock in the same neighborhood is to-day. 

Doubtless, the first fall and winter spent by the Worls in the 
Nineveh woods, they found exceedingly long and dismally lone- 
some; but the season of leaf and flower came at last, and with it. 
three neighbors. On Friday, the 15th of March, Joah Woodruff 
and William Strain, came directly from Ohio, and Benjamin Crews, 
who two years before move4 to the Blue River neighborhood, and 
settled over the line in Bartholomew County. All three had 
families, and had been Worl's neighbors in Ohio. That was a 
busy spring on the Nineveh. Crews camped by the side of a log 
for eight weeks, from the middle of March to the middle of May, 
by which time he had nine acres cleared after the fashion of the 
times, which he planted in corn, and then he built a cabin. 

During the year of 1822, eleven men, with their families, are 
known to have moved into the Township-. In addition to those 
already mentioned, were Adam Sash, Daniel and Henry Mussul- 
man, and James Dunn from Kentucky, David Trout from Vir- 
ginia, and John S. Miller from North Carolina. 

The next year, James and William Gillaspy, William Spears, 
Curtis Pritchard, Louis Pritchard and Richard Perry, Kentuckians; 
and Jeremiah Dunham, an Ohioan, and Elijah DeHart, from North 
Carolina, moved in. In 1824, Robert Moore and George Baily 
Aaron Dunham, of Ohio, arrived, and Isaac Walker, Perry Baily, 
Joseph Thompson and, Robert Forsyth, all from Kentuck/. In 
1825, Daniel Pritchard, John Parkhurst, William Irving and Amos 
Mitchel, from Kentucky, and Jesse Young, from Ohio, moved in, 
and, in the year following, came Thomas Elliott, Prettyman Bur- 


ton, William Keaton, Clark Tucker, Daniel Hutto, John Hall, John 
Elliot, all Kentuckians, and Thomas Griffith, Samuel Griffith, 
Richard Wheeler, James McKane, James and John Wylie > 
Ohioans. In 1827, of those who came, John Kindle, Aaron Bur- 
gett and the Calvins — James, Luke, Thomas and Hiram — Milton 
McQuade, John Dodd, Robert Works and, as is supposed, George 
Henger and Jeremiah Hibbs, are all believed to have been from 
Ohio, and James Mullikin, David Forsyth and James Hughes, 
from Kentucky. The next year Joseph Featherngill, Gabriel 
Givens, Mrs. Sarah Mathes and James White came, followed by 
Hume Sturgeon, in 1829, and by Walter Black, David Dunham, 
John Wilks and Aaron Burgett, in 1830. Sturgeon was from 
Kentucky, Mrs. Mathes from Virginia, and the others from Ohio, 
save Black, whose native place is uncertain. 

In the year 1822, the Burkhart brothers, % David, Lewis, George, 
Henry and William came to this county from Greene County, Ky., 
by the way of the ancient river trail. Henry and George settled 
on the north side, while David built his cabin within the borders of 
Franklin Township on the land on which the late Michael Canary 
so long lived, and ultimately died. All three built cabins on the 
trail, and they have left their family name in Buckhart's Creek, in 
their old neighborhood. About the time of the arrival of the Burk- 
harts, came Levi Moore along the trail, from the south as far as 
the Big Spring (now Hopewell), whence he turned to the east and 
built a cabin on the high ground, a few hundred yards west of the 
place where the Bluff road crosses Young's Creek. This cabin 
site has never ceased to be a place of residence. It is now occu- 
pied by John McCashin. Of Moore, but little is known. In the 
summer of 1825, he built a cabin and log stable on the east side of, 
and close to the line dividing the east and west halves of the south- 
west quarter of Section 9, in Township 12, afterward owned and 
occupied by Aaron LeGrange. Moore had entered the west half 
of that quarter, and publicly gave out that he owned the east half, 
but Adam Sash learning otherwise, entered that half, and the owner- 
ship of Moore's cabin and stable thus fell to him. 

On Young's Creek, which flowed through the west eighty, he. 
built a mill, but the site was inauspicious. At that point the creek 
run between low banks through a wide valley, and he found it im- 
possible to construct a dam that would withstand the freshets. His 
log mill*house was built over the creek bed on piles driven into the 
earth with a maul, and he put in machinery with which he could 
grind " from ten to fifteen bushels of corn per day." Driven to 
desperation by repeated washouts, he at last felled a large sycamore 
tree top on his dam, hoping in this way to hold it down; but find- 


ing it a vain effort, after a year or two he abandoned the enterprise, 
and soon after left the country and went, no one knew where. The 
foundation logs of his mill, after sixty-three years, are still to be 
seen, embedded in the Young's Creek mud, apparently as sound 
as the day they were placed there. 

Moore left a.bad reputation behind him. He was charged with 
over-tolling the grists that went to his mill, and, not content with 
that, he caught a portion of the descending meal in his wide sleeves 
which he transferred to his own barrel, a trick not uncommon with 
rascally millers of his day. It was laid to his charge also that he 
stole his neighbors hogs, and scrupled not to rob the Indians, who 
camped now and then in his vicinity. Certain, it is, that he and his 
family were phenomenally untidy about their home. Under the 
high porch of his cabin, his little flock of sheep were penned every 
night, winter and summer, to keep them from the wolves, a pre- 
caution that his pioneer neighbors could have excused perhaps, but 
the ducks and geese that slept upon the porch and in the cabin it- 
self, to keep them from their prowling enemies, the foxes, and 
minks, the neighbors could not excuse. Moore could not build 
cabins and mill houses and roll logs without calling upon his neigh- 
bors for assistance, nor could they assist without dining at his table. 
But the memory of the combined odors of the sheep-pen, of the 
goose and duck sleeping apartment, and of the Moore cookery, re- 
mains to this day. It is said that a boiled egg was the only article 
of food a man could eat at the Moore table without a qualm. 
Nevertheless, Levi Moore left his name in a certain sense indelibly - 
impressed upon the county. Upon the little creek, that, taking its 
rise a mile north of Franklin and flowing thence southwesterly till 
it discharges into Young's Creek, not far from the site of his first 
cabin, he gave the name of " Indian Creek," from the circumstance, 
that the Indians frequently encamped upon it in the early days, and 
by that name it is still known. In another stream, Moore's Creek, 
which unites with Young's Creek, near Hopewell, his name will be 
held in perpetual remembrance, for it carries his name. 

In the month of February, 182 1, Elisha Adams, a Pennsylvanian 
by birth, but moving from Kentucky, and Joseph Young, a North 
Carolinan, and Robert Gilchrist, from Washington County, Ind., 
came to the county. Young settled in the delta formed by the 
union -of Sugar and Lick Creeks, while Adams moved farther 
north, and built a cabin near the present site of Amity. Lick 
Creek was so named by the United States surveyors, because of 
the great number of most excellent deer licks found near its 
source. But Young's cabin soon came to be known better than 
the licks, and the first settlers caring little for the name bestowed 


by the surveyors, changed Lick Creek into Young's Creek, and 
time has sanctioned their act. 

In the autumn succeeding Adams' arrival William Rutherford 
moved on Sugar Creek in Section 33, less than two miles northeast 
of Adams', and became the first settler in what is now known as 
Xeedham Township. 

About the time Rutherford was building his cabin, Adams' 
horses strayed off, and while hunting for them in Bartholomew 
Countv, he met with John Smiley of Washington Countv, who 
said he was looking for a mill site. While hunting game, Adams 
had more than once noticed a place on Sugar Creek in Section 34, 
where he thought a mill could be advantageously built, and he not 
only acquainted Smiley with the fact, but gave him such a glowing 
account of the country adjacent to the site, that Smiley came to see 
for himself, the following summer. The place suiting him, he made 
a purchase, and in the ensuing fall moved his family to the county, 
and after erecting a cabin in which to live, began at once building 
a mill, which was finished the same fall, and which was the first mill 
in the county. 

In October, 1820, George King, Simon Covert, Samuel and 
Cornelius Demarer, Peter A. Banta, William Porter, James and 
Wallace Shannon and Prettyman Burton, all of whom were resi- 
dents of Henry and Shelby counties in Kentucky, made a tour of 
parts of Indiana, to " look at the country." Crossing the Ohio, a few 
miles below Madison, they traveled eastwardly through Jefferson 
and Switzerland counties, thence to Versailles, in Ripley, and 
through Napoleon and on to the "Forks of Flat Rock." Shortly 
after crossing the Ohio, William Hendricks joined them, but at the 
"Forks" he turned aside to become the proprietor of the county 
seat of Decatur Countv. King and his company kept on till they 
reached Connor's Prairie, where they took the back track on the 
Indian trail till they came to the location of the seat of government, 
wmere "four little cabins" were all there was of the future city. 
Crossing the White River at that place, they visited Eagle Creek 
and then White Cieek, after which they re-crossed the river at 
Whetzel's. Riding up to the Bluffs, they followed Whetzel's trace 
out to the Indian trail, where they saw Loper's unfinished cabin, 
and thence they traveled southward past the Big Spring and Berry's 
ford, and so on to their homes, having been absent seventeen days. 
The following fall, King and Covert, who were brothers-in-law, 
and William Shannon, a neighbor, returning to the state, made 
another journey to examine the country. This time they went 
direct to Indianapolis, passing through Johnson County, and at- 
tended the first sale of lots in that new city. Crossing White River 


the same day, they rode to the neighborhood of Eagle Creek where 
they camped. The next morning they set out in earnest for the 
Wabash country and saw but .one cabin from Tuesday morning 
till the following Sunday evening. The journey was a disappoint- 
ment to them. The country was not apparently as good as they 
had been led to expect. " Good land was like the milk sick, still 
ahead." They returned to their homes by the way of the Vermil- 
ion River country. 

After another year, King and Covert made a third trip to the 
state. This time they were accompanied by Garrett C. Bergen, 
and the purpose of their journey seems to have been to enter lands 
in Johnson County. King, who was the leader in all these expe- 
ditions, was of the age Of forty years. His native place was 
Wythe County, in Virginia, whence he had moved with a widowed 
mother to Kentucky while a lad, where he had been apprenticed to 
a wheelwright with whom he had learned the trade. He had the 
knack of money getting, and having accumulated a small sum, he 
was desirous of settling himself in a new country at such a place 
as he would be enabled to control the location of a county town, on 
lands he might himself own. On this third visit he saw his op- 
portunity. On the 8th of January, 1821, an act had t been passed 
organizing Bartholomew County, and on the 31st of December 
following, bills to incorporate Morgan, Marion and Shelby counties ! 
had been approved by the Governor, leaving the territory lying 
between, to be incorporated thereafter. The situation was patent 
to every one, but King seems to have been the only one who was 
able to take advantage of it. On reaching the Blue River settle- 
ment he fell in with Samuel Herriott, whom he questioned concern- 
ing a suitable town site in the neighborhood of the center of the 
unorganized territory, and from him learned of what was supposed 
to be a suitable tract lying in the angle formed by the confluence 
of Lick and Camp creeks. The land lookers went at once to it, 
and after looking the land over and each selecting his tract, they 
rode off to Brookville to make their entries. But when there they 
learned that the unexpected thing had happened. Twehty-rtwo 
days before, Daniel Pritchard had entered the very eighty that 
King had marked as his own. But George King was not the man, 
when once he had put his hand to the plough, to look back. He 
purchased the eighty adjoining the Pritchard tract on the west, 
while Bergen bought on the north and Covert on the east, as they 
had originally intended, after which they returned to the neighbor- 
hood of their purchases, and King finding the owner of the coveted 
eighty, -paid him two hundred dollars for his bargain and took a 
conveyance in fee. Covert and Bergen returned to their homes, 



but King remained. Securing names to a petition to the Legisla- 
ture, praying for the .organization of the territory lying between 
Morgan and Shelby into a county, he went by the way of Corydon,* 
then the capital of the State, and procured the passage of an act 
organizing the new county, which receiving the signature of the 
Governor, became a law on the 31st of December, 1822, and the 
county was named Johnson, in memory of John Johnson, one o£ 
the Judges of the Supreme Court of the State. 

John Smiley, the miller, was appointed by Governor Hendricks, 
sheriff of the county, and in accordance with the law, issued a writ 
of election to be holden on Saturday, the Sth day of March, 1823. 
Two voting places were named, one at the house Of Hezekiah s 
Davison, on Blue River, and the other at the home of Daniel Boaz, 
on White River. Israel Watts and Daniel Boaz, were elected 
associate judges; Samuel Herriott, clerk of the circuit court; 
William Shaffer, county recorder; and William Freeman, John S. 
Miller and James Ritchey, commissioners, and a county govern- 
ment was thereupon duly organized. 

Here let us pause in our story and take a look backward. Up ■ 
to the close of the year, 1822, there were three centers of settle- 
ment in the county, Blue River, Nineveh and White River, the 
first of which contained fifty-nine families, the second twenty and 
the third fourteen. There were a few cabins scattered here «nd 
there throughout the county, outside of these, settlements as -we 
have seen, enough by actual court to bring the whole number up 
to an even 100, which according to the usual method of computa- 
tion in such cases, gives a population of 506.* 

All these original settlers were poor men. It is hard for the 
people of this more favored age to form a clear conception of the 
depth of their poverty. The greater part were land owners, it is 
true, but unimproved land was selling at " Congress price," and a 
cabin and five or six acres of cleared land added from fifty to 
seventy-five dollars to that price. The number of acres of cleared 
land contiguous to the' 100 cabins in the county did not exceed 
500. Probably there were as many horses in the county as he&l8 
of families, and three times as many cattle. Hogs were becomflig. 
numerous, in a few localities, but were worth little more than mj 
many wild deer. All the furniture in the 100 cabins did not cost 
as much as the furniture to be found in a single one of a good 
many houses in the county to-day. It is hard to estimate aggre- 
gate values in the absence of the assessor, but it is believed that 

* In my History of Johnson County, published in 1881, by a printer's mistake the num- 
ber is put at 550. It was written 500. I inadvertently repeated the mistake in " Making 
a Neighborhood." 


excluding land values, an assessor on the first day of January, 1823,. 
could not have found over $5,000 or $6,000 worth of property in 
the whole county. 

Returning from this digression, we find that George King, hav- 
ing secured the county organization, early in the following spring 
(1823), moved to his purchase, that he might be on the ground 
when the time for locating the county seat came round. It was in 
the latter part of February or first of March, that accompanied by 
his two unmarried daughters and his married daughter and her 
husband, David McCaslin, and Simon Covert, whose wife staid be- 
hind until the ensuing fall, and Isaac Voorheis, a young and un- 
married man. King left his Kentucky home and came to Johnson 
County. The movers found a road cut out to Elisha Adams' place, 
and thence on, assisted by Robert Gilchrist,* they made their own 
road up the east bank of Young's Creek to* the mouth of Camp 

It was late in the day when the axemen followed by the teams 
and cattle reached the creek, where they found a dark and turbu- 
lent stream rolling between them and their destination. Not 
knowing the fords the teams were driven back to a high dry knoll 
where a camp fire was started and a camp made. Little did the 
campers on that knoll, as they watched by the light and warmth of 
their camp fire that night, dream that they would live to see the 
day when that knoll would become the site of a college devoted to 
" Christianity and Culture." j- 

Hardly were the teams unhitched that evening, when it was 
discovered that the meal and sieve had been left at Adam's, where- 
upon King and Gilchrist and McCaslin returned, leaving Covert 
and Voorheis to occupy, the camp alone. Other things it seems 
had been left behind, also, for the campers milked into and drank 
milk out of the bells, which had been brought for use in the range. 
The next morning on the return of King and McCaslin the pilgrims 
sought for and found a place to safely cross the " swollen stream." A 
beautiful tract of high and dry land on the north bank of Young's 
Creek, which has since been graded down and is now occupied by 
the residence of Judge Woollen and of others, was their objective 
point, but such a network of down logs overgrown with spice wood 
and other bushes all woven together, with wild grape vines, not to 
mention a forest of beeches, maples, hackberries, sycamores and 
buckeyes, did they encounter that the whole day was consumed in 
reaching their destination. The writer has repeatedly talked with 

* In the early records this name is spelled Gilcrees. The family have since changed the 
spelling as in the text, 
t This is the motto placed on the seal of Franklin College. 



three of the men who cut the first road through what is now known 
as the Old Bear Plat of the city of Franklin and also with others 
who saw the place before the town site was cleared off and all 
agreed in pronouncing it the most impenetrable thicket in all the 
country round about. A hurricane not many years before had 
passed down Young's Creek and up Camp (now Hurricane), leav- 
ing a wide swath of fallen timber in its wake and it was through 
this the road was made that day. 

In the evening, wearied and hungry, the emigrants reached the 
high ground King had selected for his cabin site. A tent was 
erected and a hasty camp made. The meal bag and the seive, 
having been brought up from Adams', a supper of corn cake and 
bacon was enjoyed. Tin cups took the place of cow bells for 
drinking vessels. At an early hour the men lay down on a browse 
bed before a glowing camp fire, under cover of a tent to sleep. 
They were too tired to talk and soon were in the land of dreams. 
During the night, however, a tempest of rain, accompanied by 
thunder and lightning and wind arose, and such commotion ensued 
in the forest around them that they felt their lives were in peril. 
At intervals the crashing of falling trees could be heard, and be- 
fore the blast had expended its force a large tree, close by, was 
wrenched from its roots and fell thundering to the earth, but hap- 
pily in a direction from them. More than fifty years afterwards 
Col. Simeon Covert, speaking of that falling tree, said: " It shocked 
us greatly," and sure it must, as it crashed to the earth amid the 
blackness of night, in a tempest-tossed forest. The next morning 
work was begun on King's cabin, a two-roomed structure with an 
entry between, which served as a house for all, till the little fields were 
cleared and the crops laid by. That cabin stood on the highest 
part of the knoll which has since been cut down, crosswise of the 
present line of Jefferson street. The next step taken was to make 
clearings for corn. Covert's patch was amid the fallen timber in 
the track of the old hurricane. Over three acres he grubbed, 
chopped and burned, clearing after a fashion, and planting on<J||&- 
30th of May. At the end of seventeen days he laid his corn"%v-* 
and the following fall gathered at the rate of fifty bushels to the 
acre, of good corn. The particulars of King's and McCaslin's 
planting has not been remembered. 

In the latter part of September, Simon Covert, having returned 
during the summer to Kentucky, moved his family to his new 
home. Quite a company accompanied him. John B. Smock, and 
his brother Isaac, who settled at Greenwood, and Daniel Covert, 
Moses Freeman and Joseph Voorheis, who subsequently settled on 
Young's Creek, in what was afterward known as the Hopewell 


neighborhood, were of the company. About the time Cover set 
out for Kentuucky after his family, Thomas Williams, a Pennsyl- 
vanian by birth, but hailing from Washington County, in this state, 
came to the neighborhood, and began the erection of a cabin on the 
south side of the creek; and in the same month Covert returned, 
Williams moved his family and goods into his new home. He 
brought with him the first yoke of Oxen that ever came to Franklin. 

Five commissioners had been named, in the act of organizing 
the county, whose duty it was to meet on the first Monday in May, 
1823, and select a town site for the new county. For some reason 
the meeting was deferred, till the 22nd of the month, at which 
time three of the five met at the house of John Smiley, on Sugar 
Creek, whence they proceeded to discharge that duty. "A paper 
village " had been laid out by Amos Durbin, near the mouth of Sugar 
Creek, the site of which the three commissioners went to see. On 
the northeast quarter of Section 8, in Township 13 north, Range 4 
east, which lay a half mile from the geographical center of the 
county, was the highest, dryest and best drained tract of land to be 
found short of the Sugar Creek or White River highlands — a 
tract on which was an elevation, now known as Donnell's Hill, and 
there were some who thought the commissioners might make the 
location in that place. George King, sharing in that thought, had 
already entered the quarter section, but it is quite evident he pre- 
ferred the location to be made on his Pritchard purchase. While at 
his house, and after examining the proposed site in the angle of the 
creeks, the commissioners inquired about the country at the center 
of the county, and even set out through the pathless woods to ex- 
amine the place for themselves. But, for some reason, they went 
without a guide, and in a violent rain storm, that came up while 
they were on the journey, they lost their way, and finally, came 
back to King's cabin, without having seen the hill, whereupon, they 
at once proceeded to locate the town on the southwest quarter of 
the southeast quarter of Section 13, Township 12 north, Range 4 
east, which forty acre tract King donated to the county, together 
with eleven acres lying between it and Young's Creek. It was 
made the duty of the locating committee to report their action to 
the county Commissioners, and this being done, Samuel Herriott 
suggested that the new town be called Franklin, and it was so done. 

In the following August* Franklin was surveyed, and on Sat- 
urday, the 2nd of September, the first sale of lots took place. John 

* There is no written evidence of the date. Of two men who remembered the circum- 
stances, one said it was, in August, and another September. In my history of Johnson 
County, published in 1881, I adopted the latter date, but the fact that the sale of lots took 
place on the second of September, of wfifteh there is written evidence, excludes that month. 



Campbell, of Sugar Creek, who had been appointed county agent, 
superintended the sales, and to encourage bidding he laid in a sup- 
ply of whisky, with which to treat the thirsty crowd. The record 
shows that he presented a claim for whisky and paper of " $1.18^," 
and George Adams, who was present, and still survives, remembers 
that " there was plenty of whisky on hand." This was not the 
first whisky which had been at the new county seat. The sur- 
veyor, who ran the town lines, was drunk at the time, and the 
bend in Madison street remains a silent witness of that fact, to this 
day. Nor was it the last. Jn 1826, a further allowance was made 
to the agent of $2.61^, for " whisky and paper." At the time of 
the first sale of lots, the town site was covered with trees, logs, 
bushes and vines. The bush had been cut out enough to mark 
the lines, but it was several years before the streets and public 
square were entirely clear of bushes and logs. In the fall of 

1824, when Daniel Covert made his second visit to view the coun- 
try, the town site was yet uncleaned. During that year, however, 
improvements were begun. A man by the name of Kelly, from 
Jennings County, built a cabin on the west side of the square, and 
under the pretence of keeping a bakery, sold beer and cakes. In 
the same year of 1824, a log court house was erected on lot num- 
ber 22, the site now occupied as a dwelling place by Christian Axt. 
William Shaffer, the county recorder, who was a carpenter by 
trade, had the contract for building the court house, and no sooner 
was that contract off his hands, than he erected a dwelling for 
himself on the southeast corner of the square. While he was at 
that work, John Smiley, the sheriff, built a log house on the north- 
west corner of Main and Jefferson streets, and about the same 
time a log cabin was erected on the lot west of Smiley's house, in 
which Daniel Taylor, hailing from Cincinnati, opened the first store 
in the new town. 

In that year of 1824, or the following, Edward Springer built a 
cabin in the west side close to Kelly's and opened a smithy. In 

1825, Joseph Young and Samuel Herriott erected the first frame 
building in the town which adjoined Shaffer's home on the north, 
and in which they conducted a general store and tavern business. 
The town developed slowly. The brush and logs and trees were 
still in the public square and the roads wound in and out among 
the trees and around the largest logs. Fire wood was convenient, 
and as late as 1828, when John Tracy came to the county, he 
found the town "still full of logs. The trees had been cut 
down and the tops used for firewood." The brush was grubbed 
in the public square by Nicholas Shaffer, who was paid for the 
work out of the county treasury, $6.58. Preparing the logs for 


rolling, and rolling and burning, seems to have been done volun- 
tarily by the citizens, but they evidently made a long job of it. In 
the fall of 1826, Daniel Covert helped roll logs on the public square. 
The late John Herriott said: " I came here in May, 1827, and helped 
to cut the brush out of the public square. We met every evening 
for two or three weeks to burn logs and brush.* " After the logs 
were ready for rolling," said the late Jefferson D. Jones, " the citi- 
zens would meet about sundown and roll a few heaps." In 1828, 
the work was still going on. " All the trees were down in the pub- 
lic square" when John Tracy came in that year, " but a good many 
were still on the ground." When these were rolled and burned, 
the historian has been unable to learn. There are some secrets 
sealed even to him. 

In 1826, one John Williams put up a saw-mill, which was pro- 
pelled by oxen on a tramp-wheel; but it seems to have been a 
failure. Among the early settlers was John K. Powell, a hatter. 
It is remembered that for want of better material, he made his 
" sizing " of wheat flour, and that his hats in consequence had the 
infirmity of melting in rainy weather and of breaking in dry. 
Caleb Vannoy started a tan yard, in those early days, and Pierson 
Murphey and James Pitchey came as physicians and Fabrius M. 
Fuch and Gilderoy Hicks, as lawyers and Samuel Headly and 
Samuel Lambertson, as tailors. Others remembered were : Robert 
Gilchrist, Hezekiah McKinney, Harvey Sloan, Eli Gilchrist, James 
Frary, Simon Moore, Jesse Williams, John High, the Joneses and 

The country around Franklin was settled slowly. One of the 
first to move in was John Harter, who settled on Young's Creek, 
about a mile below town, where he built a mill. He bought his 
mill irons of John Smiley, for which he agreed to pay in corn, two 
bushels to be due every other week, until the irons were paid for. 
The late Jefferson D. Jones, used to tell that Harter had no bacon and 
he no meal, and that by agreement, he took a half bushel of meal 
every other week from the mill, for which he left with the miller, its 
worth in bacon. 

In 1825, Simon Covert and George King made an exchange of 
lands whereby the former became invested with title to King's 160 
acres at the center of the county, to which he at once cut out a road 
and moved. Shortly after, Thomas Henderson, from Kentucky, 
located the quarter section containing the Big Spring, and made 
preparation to move to it. A large immigration soon followed, of 
Presbyterians, all of whom were from Henry, Shelby and Mercer 
counties, in Kentucky. Most of them were related, and all were 

'History Presbyterian Church of Franklin, 1874, p. 196. 


descendents of Dutch or French families, that had settled in or 
around New Amsterdam (New York), during the seventeenth 
century. Among those who moved to the Hopewell neighborhood, 
as it has since been called, during the early years of its history, 
may be mentioned, Moses Freeman, Daniel, John and Cornelius 
Covert, brothers of Simon; Joseph Voorheis and Isaac, the latter 
of whom came to the country as we have seen, with George King; 
Isaac Vannice and Samuel Vaunuys, Stephen Luyster, David Banta, 
Peter LeGrange and his sons, Peter D. and Aaron; John Voris, 
Simon Vanarsdall, Zachariah Ramsdall, Melvin Wheat, William 
Magill, John P. Banta, John Bergen, Peter Demaree, Andrew Car- 
nine, Theodore List, Stephen Whitenack, Peter Banta, Henry Van- 
nice, Peter Shuck, John Davis, Simon Vanarsdall, Joseph Combs 
and Thomas Roberts. On the south and west sides and south- 
west corner of the township, we find that Thomas Mitchel, 
Michael Canary, Dr. Robert McAuley, Jacob Demaree, Henry 
Byers and Ebenezer Perry, John Brunk and Joseph Hunt moved in 
quite earh", and passing up the south side are the names of Major 
Townsend, John D. Mitchell, John Gratner, Joseph Ashley, John 
Harter, Alexander McCaslin, John C. Goodman, John Gibben and 
Jonathan Williams. In the central and northern parts were Will- 
iam Magill, Garrett C. Bergen, Peter A. Banta, Milton Utter, 
Henry, James, John and William Whitesides, Stephen and Lem- 
uel Tihon, Thomas J. Mitchel, John Brown, Elisha Dungan, Ed- 
ward Crow, David McCaslin, Harvey McCaslin, Robert Jeffrey, 
John Herriott, Middleton Waldren, Travis Burnett, David Berry, 
Samuel Overstreet, John Wilson, David, Thomas and George Al- 
exander, and William and Samuel Alison. 

Needham Township was originally part of Franklin Township, 
and was settled as such. The first settlement made within its bor- 
ders is generally accredited to William Rutherford, who built his 
cabin in the fall of 182 1, a short distance below the place where 
Smiley built his mill. The same year John Ogle settied within 
Johnson County, near the present site of the mill now owned by 
William Clark, Esq., where he himself built the first mill on the 
site about 1826. In 1822, John Smiley, as we have seen, moved to 
his place on the creek. The next year, the same in which King 
and Covert and McCaslin began the settlement at Franklin, John 
Mozingo, Squire and Lewis Hendricks, Abner Taylor, and William 
D. Smith, moved in. Afterward, in quick succession came Landron 
Hendricks, Jacob Fisher, Thomas Needham, Samuel Owens, Will- 
iam and Isaac Garrison, Jacob Wiles, James Tetrick, Jacob Bowers, 
and Jesse Beard. 

In October, 1820, George King and a number of others as we 


have seen, made a tour through Central Indiana, during which tour 
they passed the crossing of Whetzel's trace and the old Indian 
trail, where they discovered a little cabin, newly built and with the 
roof partly on. It had never been occupied, but as the travelers 
rode by they noticed a wagon containing movers close at hand, com- 
ing through the woods, from the east, and they surmised that the 
movers were coming to the cabin. This is the first that is known 
of the cabin, at that crossing, and whether the movers then seen by 
King and his companions, took possession or not, it was Daniel Loper's 
cabin, and he moved into it about that time. He was distinguished 
for being the first white man to make a settlement in two townships 
of Johnson County- — Pleasant and Clark — and yet of him very 
little is certainly known. No one knows whence he came nor 
whither he went. He seems to have been a genuine backwoods- 
man, a lover of the forest solitudes, and gave his confidence to no 
one. With him came a man by the name of John Varner, who 
was reputed to be of somewhat feeble intellect, and was his depen- 
dent and henchman. Loper owned a wagon and a yoke of oxen, 
with which Varner is known to have made several trips to the 
White Water country with the fruits of the chase which he ex- 
changed for provisions and whisky. 

But Loper did not remain long at the crossing. The following 
year, Nathaniel Bell, from Ohio, traveled the Whetzel trace in 
search of a home. " He rode on horseback with a sack under 
him, in which he carried his provisions. His horse carried a bell 
around his neck, which was kept silent by day, but when night 
came Bell made a camp, unloosed the bell, hobbled the horse, 
turned him out to graze, and then lay down to sleep. Bell having 
explored the Eel River lands, and not liking them, returned and called 
at the cabin of John Doty. * * Here he disclosed his purpose, 
and that was to get a description of the land at the crossing of the 
traces and enter it at Brookville, on his way home, and then settle 
there and keep a tavern and build a house, mill and a distillery for 
whisky. Applying to Peter Doty, son of John Doty, for aid in 
getting a description of the land, Peter agreed to furnish it for $i, 
but Bell declared he had no money beyond the sum necessary to 
enter the land. Finally, Peter agreed to accept the bell on the 
horse and the desired information was thus obtained." * 

In December, 1821, Bell entered Loper out, and the latter 
seems to have moved shortly after, to Whetzel's old camp, on Camp 
Creek, where he put up a cabin and thus became the first settler 
of Clark Township. Sometime after his removal to that place, 
John Varner died of a sudden illness, and was buried in a walnut 

* Judge Hardin. 


trough, covered with a slab, by Loper, with the assistance of the 
Dotys, a mode of burial not unfrequently adopted by the Indians. 
When they reached the place of the funeral, they found Loper 
digging a grave with a garden hoe and throwing the dirt out with 
his hands. A belief prevailed among some of the early settlers 
that Loper had been instrumental in the death of Varner, which was, 
no doubt, groundless. Soon after his death, Loper left the country, 
and his going was as mysterious as his coming had been. No one 
knew when he went nor to what place. Jacob Fisher, who saw 
his place in 1825, says: "It looked like it had been deserted two 
or three years." He was a thriftless, and doubtless a harmless 
frontiersman, who was mean-spirited enough to flee from a rumor, 
however groundless it may have been, rather than stay and fight 
it. After Loper left, his place continued to be a camping-ground 
for movers, but it ultimately gained the reputation of being haunted 
by a ghost. Old John Varner's spirit was believed in some 
quarters to rest uneasily in its walnut coffin. On one occasion, it 
is said, a company of movers were "aroused in the dead hour of 
night by a mysterious appearance, and horror stricken they hitched 
up their teams and fled in hot haste, not halting until they reached 
John Doty's, at the hill. 

If Loper was shiftless, Bell was worse. Loper courted the soli- 
tudes and meddled with no one ; Bell loved company and that of the 
worst. He courted the patronage of land-lookers, and other trav- 
elers, but it was told of him and generally believed, that he or his 
confederates extorted money from his guests, by secreting their 
horses in the woods and demanding rewards for their return; and in 
consequence his cabin soon ceased to be a stopping place. Judge 
Hardin, in his account of a journey, made by himself and mother, 
through Johnson County in 1825, says: " Bell's location * * 
was renowned for a hundred miles away in every direction, and 
was a prominent point in all the travels of the pioneers in the New 
Purchase." At an early day he built a mill at the crossing which 
for a few years served to furnish an occasional sack of meal to the 
settlers. Judge Hardin who saw the mill, thus graphically describes 
it. " It was a strange piece of machinery, and when in motion pro- 
duced unearthly sounds in its rattlings and creakings and rumblings. 
The hoop inclosing the runner was a section of a hollow log, sitting 
loosely over and around the grinder, to prevent the escape of the 
meal. When the team made a sudden movement, the revolving 
momentum often communicated to the enclosed hoop, and it, too, 
was thrown into a sudden circular motion. The strange drummings 
so frightened the horses, that they increased their gait beyond con- 
trol, and the increased whirl of the grinder overcame its gravity 


and caused it to take a tangential leap from above down among the 
horses and men. His mill was never profitable." 

It was current report that Bell so managed matters at his mill 
as to steal more of the grist in corn or meal, or both, than he took 
by lawful toll. He wore the sleeves of his " warmus" or hunting 
shirt unusually large, in which he not only managed to pick up a 
few extra grains while tolling the grist, but on the pretense of ex- 
amining the meal, as it came from the spout, he caught in his large 
open sleeves, a tolerable share of the meal as it poured to the chest 
below, after which folding his arms about him, he would saunter off 
to his own chest or cabin and unload. Sometimes his victims would 
remonstrate with him, but his usual reply was, " Well the little old 
man must live." On one occasion, it is said, his sleeves being well 
gorged with meal, the horses became frightened and ran off, 
knocking the mill-stones from their frail scaffolding to the ground 
below. Bell received a blow that knocked him down and scattered 
the meal, stored in his ample sleeves, in every direction. He was 
not seriously hurt, but he was badly scared and promised to do 
better in the future, a promise he soon forgot. 

In addition to Bell's other misdeeds, he was accused of harbor- 
ing horse thieves, and of being a hog thief himself. At a log roll- 
ing, Permenter Mullenix and he got into a quarrel, and the latter 
charged him outright with the crime of hog stealing. This was 
more than "the little old man" could stand, and so he went to 
Indianapolis and employed Judge Wick and Calvin Fletcher to 
prosecute Mullenix for slander. The action was begun, but Mul- 
lenix defended on the ground the charge was true, and making 
proof of the fact, to the satisfaction of the jury, had judgment for 
his costs. The case then went before the grand jury, the re- 
sult of which was, Bell was indicted, tried and sent to the peniten- 
tiary. After serving his term he returned to his home, but soon 
after he abandoned the county, and his confederates were sent to 
the state's prison, or followed him. His place "became one of 
the most lonely and desolate places in the county, being overgrown 
by briers and brush, and deserted." 

When Simon Covert moved his family to Franklin, in Septem- 
ber, 1823, John B. Smock, and Isaac, his brother, from Mercer 
County, Ky., came with their families, and household goods also. 
The)' were destined to the neighborhood of the after site of Green- 
wood — a neighborhood soon to be known as the Smock neighbor- 
hood. Between Franklin and their destination, a pathless woods 
lay, and they were two days " bushing " a way to it. During the 
following year, 1824, the state road leading from Madison to 
Indirnapolis was cut out, over which the same year, James Smock, 



a brother, came to join them. In 1825, one over an even half a 
dozen of families joined them, viz. : Garrett Brewer's, Garrett Van- 
diver's, Garrett Sorter's, Robert Lyon's, and Joseph and John and 
Samuel Alexander's — all Kentuckians, from Mercer County. 
The Smock settlement was a half-way place between Franklin and 
Indianapolis, and from this may be accounted the fact of its com- 
paratively slow growth, for many years. Up to about 1830, it ap- 
pears that the number moving in was quite small. In addition to 
those already mentioned, may be named John Comingore, who 
came, in 1826, Cornelius Smock, in 1827, Alexander Wilson, in 1828, 
and Isaac Voris, in 1829. 

In 1824, the state road was cut out, and notwithstanding the 
country in the center and south side of the township was inclined 
to be wet, settlers shortly began making entries of land, and, in 
1828, David Trout, and a little later in the year, James Tracy and 
his grown sons, Nathaniel, Thomas and John, William Pierce and 
James Chenoweth built cabins and started clearings extending from 
the center of the townships outhward. All these men — excepting the 
Alexanders, who were Pennsylvanians, and David Trout, who was 
a Virginian, had moved from Nineveh — were Kentuckians. 

On the fourth day of May, 1829, Pleasant Township was created 
by striking off from* White River all the territory east of the range 
line, making the west boundary the same as it now is; but, up to 
1838, Clark Township formed a part of Pleasant. Elections were 
ordered to be held at the house of Isaac Smock, and Isaiah Lewis 
was appointed inspector. The township took its name from its 
principal stream, Pleasant Run. Two explanations have been 
given, accounting for the name of the creek, one of which is, that 
when the country was first settled the stream was a gently flowing, 
pleasant running stream ; and the other that it was the reverse of 
this, and the name was given by the way of irony. 

Here, as everywhere else, it is difficult to fix upon the years 
when men moved in, but it is certain that an impetus was now given 
to immigration into the township. By mid-summer of 1834, the 
following persons are known to have moved into and about the 
Smock neighborhood, to wit: the Comingores, Henry and Samuel, 
the McColloughs, John Lyons, Peter Whitenack, Samuel Eccles, 
the Henrys, Robert, Hiram and Samuel, J. D. and William Wilson, 
John and'james Carson, Dr. William Woods, William McGee and 
sons, William and Joseph Brenton, Marine D. West, Berryman 
Carder, and the Todds. All these were from Kentucky, except the 
Henrvs, from Virginia, the Wilsons who were from North Caro- 
lina, the Woods, the McCulloughs and the Carsons, who were from 
Tennessee. Lower down in the Tracy and Trout neighborhoods, 


Thomas Gant, the Hills, Littleton, Joseph, Squire and Charles, 
James Stewart, David Lemmasters, Reuben Davis, William Mc- 
Clelland, Daniel, David and John Brewer, Robert Smith, Abraham 
Sharp, and probably others, moved in, while over toward the south- 
east corner and east side came in Thomas Graham and his three 
sons, Samuel, James and Archibald, and also Lewis Graham, Isaac 
Clam and Andrew McCaslin, followed soon after by Ashford Dow- 
den, Abraham Banta, Solomon Steele, Jacob Peggs and others. 
By the close of 1834, persons were located all over the township, 
but it could not be said to be fairly inhabited before 1840. 

In 1821, Daniel Loper having been " entered out" by Nathaniel 
Bell, moved eastward on the "trace" to Whetzel's old camp on 
Camp Creek, where he made the first permanent home in what is 
now known as Clark Township. Shortly after, John Ogle moved into 
the northeast corner of what is now known as Needham Township 
(some say in the same year, but others in the year after), and, at 
the same time, his brother Levi, moved into the southeast corner of 
Clark. In 1822, a settlement was made on the east side of Sugar 
Creek, in Shelby County, by Joseph Reese, John Webb, and some 
others, and, attracted by this settlement, a few more came quite 
early into Clark Township, as also into Needham. In 1822, Will- 
iam and John McConnell came to the neighborhood, and it may be 
that the Ogles came the same year. 

It is extremely difficult, at this time, to ascertain with any de- 
gree of certainty, the dates of arrival of the first and subsequent set- 
tlers, but next after Loper's cabin, and the Sugar Creek settlement, 
pioneers began moving upon the highlands in the. north. The 
first one to go in was Hugh McFadden, and the second, Glen 
Clark. Both were here in 1825, and the probability is that both 
came that year. In 1826, there moved into the settlement thus be- 
gun, John L. McClain and Alexander Clark, from Kentucky, and 
three Hosiers, Robert, Jacob and Abraham. The next year, 
James and Moses McClain, and Robert Ritchey came in from Ken- 
tucky, and Moses Rains from Virginia. The year after, Jacob 
McClain, from Kentucky, and the year after that, Thomas Clark 
and Thomas Robinson, Kentuckians, and Edward Wilson and 
Samuel Billingsly, North Carolinians. In 1832, David Justice, 
Abraham Jones, Matthias Parr and James Kinnick, from North 
Corolina; and, in 1833, Andrew Wolf, George Wolf, Tennesseeans, 
and all those mentioned above, save the few Sugar Creek settlers, 
and David Parr and John Fitzpatrick went into the neighborhood 
of Loper's old cabin. In 1834, there was quite an influx of immi- 
grants: Allen Williams, John Tinkle, Robert Farnsworth, David 
Farnsworth, Henry Farnsworth, Aaron Huffman and Daniel Mc- 


Lean, Tennesseeans, and Henry White. Ellis White, Joseph Hamil- 
ton, Henry Grayson and Taylor Ballard, Kentuckians, and Charles 
Dungan, a Virginian John Eastburn, a North Carolinian, and Oliver 
Harbert, born in Dearborn County, Ind., moved to the township in 
1834. Clark Township was now filling up quite fast. The follow- 
ing persons are believed to have moved in during the vear 1835, t0 
wit: Joseph Hamilton, Theodore Vandyke, John Wheatlv, Lyman 
Spencer, Parker Spencer, Caleb Davidson, Conrad McClain, 
Thomas Portlock and Samuel McClain; and James Williams, 
David McGauhey, John Harbert and James White, followed the 
next year, while James Magill, David McAlpin and Jacob Halfaker 
came in 1837. 

Let us now go from the northeast corner of the county, to the 
southwest, and note the progress of settlement there. In the 
month of September, 1823, two young men, David and Alexander 
Stevens, sons of John Stevens, living in Jackson Countv, came to 
the Nineveh settlement to view the country. The best lands 
having been taken up in that neighborhood, Curtis Pritchard and 
William Spears went with them to look at the Indian Creek coun- 
try in the next Congressional township on the west. It was on the 
1 2th of September when the brothers and their guides reached the 
desired place. The latter had hunted game on Indian Creek, and 
had observed several choice locations. They struck the South 
Fork, or near the place where the Martinsville road now crosses, 
and going down that, not far from the confluence of the North and 
South forks, thev encountered a man with a deer on his back who 
had a camp on a mound on the south side of the creek. His 
name was John Davis, and accepting his hospitality, they staid with 
him that night. He was living in a pole cabin about twelve feet 
square, with the fire place on the ground in the center, with a hole 
through the puncheon roof for the smoke to escape. Over the 
door was hung a bear skin, and bear and wolf and deer skins 
made the bed around the fire on which Davis and his guests and 
his two big dogs slept that night. Before retiring, the guests 
partook of an ash pone and of a wild turkey, which the woods- 
man hung before the fire over a broken pot lid to catch the 
dripping gravy, with which he basted the roasting fowl, using 
for that purpose a wooden spoon. 

Davis was a hunter and trapper, who said he had come to the 
county from Clark County, in 1822. One William Horton, had come 
with him, and for a time they had camped together, but a disagree- 
ment arising, Horton had moved by himself and was living in a hut 
a half mile southward. Davis seems to have been quite a suc- 
cessful hunter and trapper, while Horton was less so. During the 


winter of 1822 and 1S24, it is remembered that the former trapped 
six beavers on Indian Creek, and killed five bears. The raccoons, 
muskrats and grey foxes taken, is not known. On one occasion 
he caught three wolves in a pen at one time. The following sum- 
mer he married Polly Elkins, and continued to reside in the neigh- 
borhood till 1827, when he moved away. Horton left the country 
shortly after the visit of the Stevenses. 

The next morning after the night of the feast, John Davis went 
with his guests, and showed them the lands on which John Stevens 
and Richardson Hensley and their families were so soon vto make 
settlement; and then the boys returned home. Richardson Hens- 
ley, John Stevens' neighbor, shortly before the return of the two 
young men, had sold his farm and proposed returning to Kentucky, 
but they gave such a glowing report of the country they had seen, 
that both Stevens and he determined to move to it. Accordingly, 
on Wednesday, the 23rd of September, Hensley, w r ith his family, 
and his two sons-in-law, William Davenport and Ambrose, his 
brother, and William Mitchell and their families, and John Stevens 
and his two sons, Alexander and Gideon, and a boy he had brought 
up, Ephraim Harrell, set out for the new country. The movers 
came in three wagons, Hensley and Stevens had one each drawn 
by three yoke of oxen, and Davenport and Mitchell joined in one 
drawn by one yoke of oxen and one pair of horses. Forty head of 
cattle and 100 hogs and a flock of sheep accompanied them. 

They were five days on the road to the INineveh, and four thence 
to the final stopping, a distance less than seven miles in a straight 
course. They had to cut a road every foot of that four days' travel. 
John Stevens and Richardson Hensley went before and chose the 
way, while William Mitchell, William Davenport and Alexander 
Stevens followed with their axes, and made a path for the wagons. 
On the evening of the third day they camped by a dead poplar 
tree, which caught fire during the night. The next morning, Fri- 
day, October 3, the journey w r as resumed, and at five o'clock that 
evening, they camped on a " black haw bush knoll " a half mile 
from what was soon to be known as Hensley's Spring. As the 
night closed in they looked back in the direction they had come, 
and were startled to see, barely two miles away, the flames blazing 
in the top of the poplar they had left burning "that morning. The 
next morning the pioneers selected their respective tracts of land, 
and Hensley " without saying a word," cut dow r n a straight sugar 
tree, measured off sixteen feet, cut it off, saying, " I've got the first 
cabin log cut." Cabins were erected as soon as could be, and were 
covered with lin bark. John Stevens returned to his family in Jack- 
son County in about three weeks, leaving his son, Alexander, and 



his foster son, Ephraim Harrell, who remained during the winter, 
taking care of the cattle and hogs. Early the next spring they re- 
turned to their father's home, and assisted him to make the "final 
move, landing at their new home on Indian Creek, on Tuesday, the 
6th day of April, 1S24. 

The work of clearing the land was begun as soon as the men 
-could get at it. By the time for planting in the spring, Hensley had 
six acres cleared for corn and four acres for an orchard; each 
of his sons-in-law about three acres, and Stevens seven acres. 
The wild turkeys annoyed them by scratching up their corn 
as soon as it was planted. The squirrels followed the turkeys, 
and by the time for harvesting, the crop was nearly destroyed. 
Hensley sowed his orchard in turnips, and raised an immense 
■crop — -about 500 bushels, on which he wintered his cattle. In 
the following fall (1824), William Holman, Isaac Holman, Ar- 
thur Bass and Nathaniel Elkins moved to the township. Dur- 
ing the ensuing winter, "William Chase arrived, and the next 
season Peter Titus, and Charles and Mitchel Ross and Richard 
Perry. Following soon after came Henry Mussulman, Albert 
Roberts, John Schrem, John and Lewis Shouse and Aaron Hol- 
,man : and at intervals during the years intervening between 1826 
and 1833, James Taggart (who was afterward killed at the battle 
of Buena Vista), William Skaggs, Holland Jones, John Brunk, 
Nicholas Hobbs, Hiram Porter, Reason and John Slack, John 
Voris, Simpson Sturgeon, Montgomery Smith, Andrew Under- 
wood, Leonard Leffler, John McNutt, William Mitchell, Thomas 
Lvman, S. W. Weddle, Thomas Lockhart, Thomas Alexander, 
John Clark, Jesse Wells, Samuel Fleener, Hiram T. Craig, John 
Boland, Samuel Woollard, Frederick Ragsdale, George Bridges, 
William Clark, Abraham Mas>ey, McKinney Burk, Avery M. 
Buckner, Levi Petro, James Wiley, Elijah Moore, Stith Daniel, 
Thomas L. Sturgeon, James Forsyth, David and Uriah Young, 
Godfrey Jones, R. W. Elder, James Hughes, George White, Rich- 
ard Joliffe and Perrv Bailv. 

Let us turn to Union Township on the north of Hensley. Some 
time in 1823, Bartholomew Carroll moved from Kentucky by the 
way of the Three Notched Line road, then newly cut out, and 
found his way through the bush to the South Fork of Stott's 
Creek, and settled in Section 34, where John Vandiver afterward 
built a mill. Carroll had a family, consisting of his wife, three sons, 
William, John and Samuel, and two girls. The grandfather of his 
children lived with him — a very aged man, who died, it is said, 
when he was one hundred and ten years old. Bartholomew Car- 
roll was a genuine backwoodsman. He spent his time in the wil- 


derness hunting game and wild honey. The country about him 
was well stocked with all kinds of game, common to the country, 
and an experienced bee-hunter could take honey in vast quantities. 
It is said that Carroll would sometimes have as many as 100 bee- 
trees marked in the woods at a time. 

There is some uncertainty as to the time when many of the 
pioneers moved into Union Township. It is next to impossible at 
this time to get the names of all who came in, or the time when 
they came. In fifty years, much that was at the time of interest, 
sinks into oblivion. 

In October, 1826, Peter Vandiver, John Garshuiler, Joseph 
Simpson and Mrs. Christina Garshuiler settled on the east side of 
the township, not far from the headwaters of the South Fork of 
Stott's Creek. The North and South forks of Stott's Creek run 
through this township. Both afforded mill sites in the west side of 
the township in the early times. They were so named from a 
family by the name of Stotts, who settled at the mouth of the stream in 
the early times. Another stream of this township is Kootz's Fork, 
which taking its rise between the two Forks of Stott's Creek, 
empties into the south one. A frontiersman by the name of Kootz 
lived at the outlet of this stream long enough to give immortality to 
his name. The same year Mrs. Gwinnie Utterback, with her 
family of eight sons and one daughter, settled on a tract of land ly- 
ing half a mile south of the present site of Union village. In 1827, 
George Kepheart moved to Section 23, and Alexander Gilmer, to 
the northeast corner. 

In 1828 there was growth. Nearly 2,000 acres of land were 
entered, and a dozen families moved in. Peter Zook, Samuel 
Williams, Henry Banta ahd John James stopped in the Vandiver 
neighborhood. Jacob List and Philip Kepheart located near the 
east boundary line. Benjamin Utterback moved near to his sister- 
in-law, and Adam Lash and James Rivers moved to the north side, 
and John Mitchell not far from the northwest corner, and Jesse 
Young near the center. In 1829 ten more families moved into 
Union, Robert Moore and Joseph Young into Jesse Young's 
neighborhood, afterward known as Shiloh, William Bridges and 
John James near Vandiver's, William Kepheart and James 
Vaughan in the Utterback neighborhood, and Henry Guseclore in 
the northwest corner. Peter Bergen and Andrew Carnine moved 
on the east side adjoining the Hopewell neighborhood, and John 
Millis settled not far from the center of the township. The next 
year Garrett and James Terhune, two brothers, settled a mile west 
of Vandiver's; Gideon Drake moved to within a mile of the Morgan 
County line ; Bennett, Austin and William Jacobs moved up to the 


north side; Nicholas Wyrick settled on the North Fork of Stott's 
Creek, and David and Cornelius Luyster on the east side of the 

In 1 83 1, Isaac Knox, John McColgin and Joshua Hammond, 
who w r ere Virginians, settled in the northwest corner on the North 
Fork of Stott's Creek. Willis Deer and Wesley, his brother, and 
John L. Jones, settled near Mrs. Utterback; John Henderson to 
the northwest of them some miles; George Kerlin and Peter 
Shuck on the east side of the township, and Garrett Vandiver not 
far from the present site of Bargersville, while Serrill Winchester 
and Jacob Core moved into Jesse Young's vicinity. The next 
year, Jacob Banta and Samuel Throgmorton moved in, and in 
1833, Daniel Newkirk, the gunsmith, Peter D. Banta, Peter Banta, 
David Demaree, John Knox, John Gets, Joshua Landers, and, 
probably, Jesse Harris, Peter Voris and John Shuck. The fam- 
ilies moving into the North Fork neighborhood were nearly or 
quite all Virginians, but all the others, with but few exceptions, 
were Kentuckians. Garrett Terhune was New Jersey born, but 
moved from Kentucky. Jesse and Joseph Young, Gideon Drake 
and Robert Moore were from Ohio. Out of more than seventy 
families referred to, three-fourths were from Kentucky. 

What was true Qf the nativity of the first settlers of Union 
Township, was true of all save Nineveh. That was settled by 
Ohioans mainly. In all the others the majority were Kentucky born. 
A sprinkling from east Tennessee, Virginia, North Carolina, 
western Pennsylvania, and also Ohio, was to be found in all neigh- 

We have seen that the population of the county at the time of 
its organization was about 500. In 1828 the number of polls, as 
shown by a report made by the Auditor of State to the Legisla- 
ture, was 506, which would give a population of between 2,500 and 
3,000. In 1830 the census showed a population of 4,019. In 1832 
there were 908 polls, showing a population of about 5,000. In 
1835, judging from the vote of that year, it had increased to at least 
6,500, and in 1840 the census showed an increase to 9,352. 




The Pioneers — Where They Came From — Who They Were 

— Arrival in the New Country — Deserted Cabins — 
Architecture of the Early Homes — Modes of Travel 

— Hardships of New Comers — Domestic Animals — 
Mast — Hog Stealing — ■ Situation of New Homes — 
Primitive Tools — Mode of Farming — Hunting Incidents 

— Woman's Work — Doctors and Diseases — Morals, 
Social Customs, Etc. 

SETTLEMENTS were first made in Johnson County 
early in 1820. All of the New Purchase was open to 
immigrants by that year, and when the time came 
for laying it off into counties, it was found that settle- 
ments in all had been begun about the same time. In 
all, the growth was slow in comparison to what has been 
seen in new counties further west* in a later day. At 
the end of the first year there were not to exceed twenty 
families in Johnson County. During the second the number in- 
creased to about fifty-five, and at the close of the third it was not 
less than 100. It took ten years to bring it up to 800. 

The majority of the first settlers of Johnson County visited the 
country and selected the place of their future abiding before mov- 
ing. The greater part of these made some sort of arrangement 
for shelter before coming. A few bought lands on which cabins 
hail already been built by earlier settlers. Others unaided, or with 
hired or volunteer help, built their own cabins, while others still, 
hired the work done altogether. A cabin of two rooms, finished 
after the fashion of the times, usually cost about $50. Not 
a few at the beginning moved to the country without knowing 
where they were going to locate, and having no promise of shelter. 
Occasionally one of these found an unoccupied cabin in the woods, 
into which he moved and lived until he could built for himself. 
Samuel Herriott, who came to the county in December, 1820, find- 
ing such a cabin on Sugar Creek, moved in. It had been 
erected the fall before, and was unfinished, having "neither door, 
floor, nor chimney." His wife, after raking a six-inch snow out, 
drove forks in one corner of the cabin and laying poles therein, 


crossed them with clapboards on which she made the bed. This 
she curtained with the wagon-sheet, making it quite comfortable. 
In the center of the floorless cabin, against a stump, she set a fire 
burning, which gave warmth to the family, and over which she 
hung the pot when she wanted it to boil. In this primitive abode 
Mr. Herriott and his wife lived till about the first of February fol- 
lowing, when they moved to their new home on the west side of 
the creek. This new cabin had a puncheon floor when they moved 
in, and Dame Herriott, more than fifty years afterward, speaking 
of her " one big pot and two splint-bottomed chairs," declared that 
when the men could sit on the edge of that puncheon floor and eat 
their dinners out of that pot, she " felt well fixed."* 

But unoccupied cabins were not of common occurrence. The 
greater number of those who ventured to move to the country 
without having homes prepared beforehand, or friends to give 
them shelter, camped in the woods while building their cabins. 
In 1822, Andrew Pierce came to the White River settlement. His 
wife and he had walked all the way from Pittsburg, each carrying 
a bundle containing all their worldly goods. At their journey's end, 
which they reached after the winter weather had begun, they 
camped by the side of a log in the woods, till, with the help of 
the neighbors, a rude cabin was built, in which they found shelter. 
Benjamin Crews, who moved to Nineveh early in the spring of 
1821, camped for eight weeks before his home was made. The 
season was so far advanced, and the necessities for raising a crop 
so great, that the first thing he did was to clear a field and 
plant it in corn, after which he put up a cabin. Sometime in 
1826, Thomas Henderson, who was living at the Big Spring, 
notified his neighbor, Simon Covert, that a family had moved into 
the woods some miles to the westward of his place, and he proposed 
that they go and see who it was. Shouldering their axes, they 
set out, and at the end of a five miles' tramp, they found Mrs. 
Gwinnie Utterback, a widow with her family, consisting of eight 
sons and one daughter, camped in the woods a short distance 
south of the present site of Union village. The two pioneers, 
with the assistance of the Utterback boys, fel[ to with a will, and 
soon had a pole cabin up, into which the widow and her house- 
hold at once moved, and began life in the Indiana wilderness in 

At this distance an air of romance is cast about many occur- 
rences that no doubt were painfully matter of fact to the parties 
concerned, at the time. In the fall of 1830, Garrett Terhune and 

* History Presbyterian Church of Franklin, p. 793. 


his brother James, arrived from Kentucky, and settled on the east 
side of Union Township, a mile west of Peter Vandiver's place. 
Garrett Terhune had a family of ten children, and he paid a man 
$30, all the money he had, to move him out. No preparation 
for shelter had been made, and when the end of the journey 
was reached, the movers' goods and their families were literally 
turned out in the woods. The brothers at once built two open 
camps ten feet apart and facing each other. In the space between 
they made the camp fire, at which the meals were cooked, and 
around which both families gathered of nights listening to the 
moan of the autumn winds in the tree tops and the howl of the 
prowling wolves. At the end of six weeks they abandoned their 
camps for a double cabin which they had erected in the meanwhile. 
Peter Vandiver, Terhune's nearest neighbor, moved to the country 
in 1826. Ten children were in his family and they were without 
shelter. The father, assisted by the older sons, immediately built 
an open camp, twelve by twenty feet, into which the family moved 
and lived till a better house was made. 

The " open camp," as it was called in the early days, was quite 
frequently met with at one time in the Johnson County forests. 
The most of those who came to the county without homes pre- 
pared beforehand, found shelter till that could be done, in the hast- 
ily constructed open camp. The greater number of the early set- 
tlers had cabins prepared before moving. This was specially true 
of those who came from the southern part of. the state, and. from 
Kentucky. 'But it would seem, that of these, the greater part 
moved into unfinished homes. The man who came in advance to 
build was quite often ready to return for his family and goods, as 
soon as his cabin was raised and had a roof on. Door, window, 
floor and chimney could be attended to afterward. Robert 
Forsyth's cabin was without floor, door, chimney, daubing, chink- 
ing or loft, when he moved to it. John P, Banta came to the 
county, a year before he moved, and built a cabin, put a roof on, 
chinked the cracks, and made a mud and stick chimney. When 
he moved to it in September, 1829, it was without door, window, 
floor or loft. William Keaton and his wife moved into theirs before 
a place for a door, window or chimney, was cut out. The top log 
of the door span had been cut out and the family climbed in and 
out as best they could, till such time as a larger entrance could be 

It was so common in the pioneer times, this moving into un- 
finished cabins, that it seldom or never caused comment. It may 
be safely assumed that during the first ten years after the first 
white man moved to the county, more than half of the people who 


came to find homes, lived for a time in unfinished cabins. Quilts 
and blankets hung over cabin doors and windows, gave protection 
against wind and weather for weeks, and in some instances, for 
months, to a large per cent, of the people who came during those 
first ten years. 

The first cabins were primitive structures. They were made 
of round logs felled on or near the home site. Some were square 
enclosures, but most were parallelogram in form. Sixteen by 
eighteen feet was a common size, but some were 18x20. The roof 
was held in place by weight poles. The cracks between the logs 
were chinked with wood and daubed with tempered mortar to keep 
out the rain and cold. The back wall and jambs were made of 
dry earth invariably dug from beneath the floor and beaten so 
firmlv into place as to stand the fires of many winters. Mounting 
above these was the mud and stick chimney, which, after a few 
years, usually had to be propped with a pole to keep it from fall- 
ing. Slabs of ash — blue ash preferred — hewn to a face, made 
the floor — a floor that gave a silvery brightness at the touch of the 
scrubbing broom and mopping cloth. There were no carpets in 
those days, but in most families, Sunday morning saw the cabin 
floor as white as the table linen. If there was poplar plank to be 
had, it went into the cabin door, but if there was none, riven oak 
boards, smoothed with a drawing knife, answered the purpose. On 
wooden hinges the door was apt to swing, and its fastening might 
be a wooden pin, or better, a wooden latch with the string hang- 
ing out. 

In the construction of many of the first cabins, not a nail, not a 
scrap of iron entered. Wood and clay composed it all. A " worm" 
fence around it protected it and the door-yard, from the cattle and 
hogs. Very soon a better order of cabin architecture followed. 
The two roomed cabin with its clapboard roof nailed on, its logs 
scotched, its doors and windows cased in sawed stuff and painted 
blue or red, was to be seen everywhere. HSometimes the two 
rooms would be separated by an " entry," making a form of cabin 
known in some quarters as a "saddle-bags cabin," but usually, the 
line dividing the two rooms, consisted of a wall of logs, through the 
middle of which was cut the " inside door." 

Into the majority of the primitive cabins, the Johnson County 
pioneers moved during the autumnal season. Most of them came 
in wagons, but not all. Andrew Pierce and his wife walked all 
the way from Pittsburg, carrying packs on their backs. Stith 
Daniel, who settled near the present site of Trafalgar, packed 
through from Kentucky on horse back. Richard Perry., who came in 
1823, brought part of "his goods in a two wheeled vehicle, drawn by 


oxen, and packed the residue on horse-back. He was ten days 
traveling 200 miles. Ladd, who settled at the bluffs, close to the 
line, moved all the way from North Carolina in a sled. George 
Bridges came to the country with two wagons, one of which was 
" home-made." The wheels were made of thick oak plank with iron 
tires. Not infrequently the wife and mother rode on horse back, 
and the biggest children walked. Mrs. John Doty rode all the 
way from the North Bend, below Cincinnati, and carried the 
baby. Mrs. Nancy Forsyth rode from her old Kentucky home on 
horse back. At the crossing of the Driftwood, she took on a sack 
of meal and carried her two year old baby in her lap before her, 
while the baby carried the pet house cat. 

The fall of the year was usually chosen as the time to move, of 
necessity. The wretched condition of the Indiana roads as found 
at almost all other seasons of the year, operated largely to bring 
this about. From the season of the beginning of the fall rain, on 
through the winter and spring and till the summer drouths held the 
land in their dry embrace, it was next to impossible to haul a load 
from the Ohio River to central Indiana. Some years the dry sea- 
son was of such short duration that the mud-roads held sway the 
year round. George Kerlin, who moved to the country in the 
month of September, 1831, found the roads next to impassable 
from the Ohio River out. At any other than during the dry sea- 
son, it was a hard day's ride from Franklin to Edinburg and return. 
It occupied all of one day to ride to Indianapolis. When once in 
his new home the pioneer was apt to find his lines in any but pleas- 
ant places. His cabin was cheerless. Everything was new. The 
conveniences of life were scant. Much had to be left at the old 
home that could not be supplied in the new. It is difficult to con- 
vey to the people of this age an adequate idea of the unsupplied 
wants of the people who lived in the early days. Poverty abounded 
everywhere. There were few, indeed, who had money, and the 
majority lacked in everything that is now deemed essential to 

In 1820, a man with his family, came to Johnson County from 
Tennessee, whose earthly all, was a "rifle-gun and fifty cents worth 
of powder and lead, a little scant bedding and a skillet and piggin." 
Another man had a "straw tick, a broken skillet, a bucket, a rifle- 
gun, a butcher knife and a steelyards." Still another man's outfit of 
culinary ware was a coffee pot and a few pewter dishes. And one man 
after clearing his little field for corn planted the seed with his axe, 
He had neither horse, plow or hoe, nor money with which to buy 
them. James and Moses McClain, who moved to this county from 
Oldham County, Ky., in 1827, brought their two families and their 


worldly goods in one two-horse wagon. Moses had no money and 
James had 25 cents. Garrett Terhune, as we have seen, paid all 
his money to the man who moved him. He had a wife and ten 
children to maintain, besides two horses and a dozen head of cattle. 
The story of the hardships endured by this man and his family, as. 
told by a son who survives, presents a most pathetic picture of the 
times. The first and second planting of corn failed, and the third 
which came was ruined by the frost. There was no £rain for the 
cattle and many of them died. The horses were so poor that they 
could not work in the plow beyond two hours at a time, but had to 
be turned out to graze. Before the second year's crop came, Mr. 
Terhune had to have corn for bread. "I never ate acorns because 
I had to," said James, the son, "but I ate acorns because I was 
hungry." The meal was low in the barrel and the corn pone was 
cut into twelve pieces of equal size at each repast. The father 
without money went to the hawpatch to buy bread, where he met 
a distant relative who sold him the needed grain and waited for the 
pay. Thus they tided over their day of distress till the. new crop- 

William Keaton had a somewhat similar experience. Being 
out of breadstuffs, he left a sick wife and a family of little children,, 
and went to the neighborhood east of Edinburg to bu}' corn, with- 
out money. But, unacquainted as he was, everyone refused to sell 
to him, and then he went to TannehilPs mill. It had so hap- 
pened that as he moved from Kentucky, he had brought a few 
pounds of wool which he had left at Tannehill's carding machine. 
The wool was still there and uncarded, and, in his extremity, he 
persuaded the miller to hold the wool as security for a grist of 
corn, and was thus enabled to return home with meal for his 
hungry family. Sometimes, during the first few years, breadstuffs 
could not be had at any price. The years 1824 and 1825 were 
exceedingly hard ones. The raccoons and the squirrels destroyed- 
the corn patches to such an extent, that many who would have been 
provided otherwise by their own crops, had to work elsewhere. 
John Doty's family, living on White River, subsisted for weeks on 
dried venison, and his was not the only family reduced to this ex- 
tremity. Twelve miles north of Indianapolis, on Connor's prairie,, 
was an abundance of corn, and to that Egypt, many went from all 
parts of the country, and were supplied. On one occasion, Peter 
and Samuel Doty, John's sons, set out with their axes on their 
shoulders, and a few dollars in their pockets, to buy corn at the 
prairie. After they had gone four miles, Daniel Etter, a neighbor, 
overtook them. He left at home a wife and nine little children. 
Etter was without money, but he had a butcher knife — probably 


one of his own make (for he was an expert blacksmith) and a 
■steelyard that would draw 300 pounds. 

At their journey's end the men found work, and in due time the 
Dotys, with the money they had and, with that earned, announced 
their intention of returning; but Etter was not ready to go. He 
had earned only twelve bushels and had his butcher knife and steel- 
yard still on hand. Never had the outlook seemed to him quite so 
full of gloom before. He had made a hard struggle to maintain 
his family, and it seemed as if every year the difficulties became 
greater. " I cannot," said he, " return to my wife and children with 
only twelve bushels of corn. It is useless to try to live in this coun- 
try any longer, and the sooner my troubles are ended the better." 
His friends, assuring him they had no intention of leaving him 
behind them, proffered to take his knife and steelyard and try 
their luck in the corn trade. That same evening they found a man 
who wanted a steelyard, and with that and the knife, thirty more 
bushels of corn were bought, and Daniel Etter was fairly beside 
himself with joy. The men at once went to work on two large 
dug-outs, into which the corn was laden, and after being lashed 
together they were floated down the river and landed at the mouth 
of Honey Creek, whence the precious grain was distributed among 
the neighbors. 

Most of the Johnson County settlers brought domestic animals 
with them to the new country. In the beginning these were left 
mainly to shift for themselves. Men who were hard pressed to get 
corn to make bread for their families, made little effort to secure it 
for their beasts. There was no pasture, however, according to the 
present signification of that word, but the range was boundless, and 
a pioneer cow, hog, sheep, and even horses, soon learned to find a 
living in it. Probably most of the animals brought to the country 
were woods wise when they came,, but if not, they soon became 
so. All soon became "rangers, learning to go where the picking 
was the best. The readiness with which the domestic animals 
adapted themselves to their environments was often a subject of 
comment among their owners. Some curious stories are told relat- 
ing to the early domestic animals. The pioneer describing his 
moving was apt to speak of " driving " his cattle and other stock, 
but he was not always -accurate in the use of the word. After a 
few days' travel there was usually no driving, the stock following 
close upon the teams of their own accord. When Charles Dun- 
gan came from Washington County, Va., he brought two cows. 
For a few days they had to be driven, but after that they followed 
the teams as faithfully as the dogs, and although the roads were 
lined with movers, never once did they make a mistake in wagons. 


They knew their owner's wagon, and when the camping place was 
reached at night they lay down, and were ready to resume the 
journey in the morning. 

Amid the Johnson County forests, hickory, beech, oak and wal- 
nut trees grew in great abundance, and seldom failed to bear a 
bountiful mast. The strain of hogs common in that day, was a 
shifty one, and usually kept in good condition the year round. Dur- 
ing the fall season when the new mast was falling, they became 
fat and were killed out of the woods for bacon. As early as 
1824, wild hogs had become quite numerous along the border, and 
there were few men of the county who did not kill their meat in the 
woods. So wild were some droves that it required as great, and 
indeed sometimes greater, skill, to hunt them down than even the 
deer. The habit of the drove of returning at night to their usual 
bed enabled the hunter to creep up and get one or more shots in 
the morning. Not uncommon was it for the pig hunter to dig a 
hole in the earth, and filling it with water, drop in heated stones till 
a temperature was reached suitable for scalding, after which he 
dressed his meat and hauled it home. 

The fat hog of the early days, it must be borne in mind, differed 
much from the fat hog of" these days. It never became so fat it 
could not run with great swiftness, and if a ranger, as most were, 
it was sure to be more or less wild. Indeed, the tendency of the 
hog to relapse into a wild state, was more marked than in any other 
animal. Perhaps it was because the hog was less looked after 
than any other domestic animal. The writer remembers a barn- 
yard fowl that had been overlooked by a moving family and left to 
shift for herself on an unoccupied farm. At the end of three 
months she was wilder than a quail, and at the approach of man 
would fly into the top of the tallest tree. The first lot of hogs that 
were driven through from central Indiana to an Ohio River town, 
was in 1824 or 1825. They were purchased in the vicinity of the 
bluffs on White River, by a man from Ohio, by the name of Jacob 
Lowe, and were turned into a large field on the old Whetzel farm, 
and men were employed to drive them back and forth for several 
days in order to train them for driving on the road. 

The farmer's anxiety concerning his hogs was less for their 
food than for their safety. If they did not turn wild and thus 
escape him, they were liable to be killed or stolen. The foxes and 
wolves preyed upon the young pigs, while a bear did not scruple to 
pull down "a full grown hog on occasion. But the owner feared 
the hog thieves more than the wild animals. The thieves infested 
every quarter of the countw Amid the dense woods, and far be- 
yond the hearing of the ne'arest settler, it was no hard matter to 


run down with trained dogs young swine and mark them with the 
thief's own mark. It was still easier to go into the woods and 
shoot a fat shote. Joseph Voorheis, who settled about three miles 
north of Hopewell, hearing a shot in the woods, went in the direc- 
tion of it till he came to a couple of men who had killed and were 
skinning a hog. They appeared quite friendly, and affecting great 
admiration of his gun, one of them took it as if to look at it. No 
sooner was he disarmed than their demeanor changed. They 
threatened his life and the man really thought his end had come. 
The hog thieves reminded him that " dead men tell no tales," but 
finally relenting, they made him swear never to reveal what he had 
seen, and true to his oath, he never told it till after he moved to 
Iowa about thirty years ago, and after both thieves had long been 
dead. One of these men was a son of Nathaniel Bell, the first 
representative Johnson County had in the state's prison. Bell had 
long been suspected of hog stealing. 

The grasses now common on every farm, were not indiginous 
to the soil. Blue grass, timothy, red-top, are all interlopers, and 
came after the settlements were begun. In the nature's deadenings, 
and along the margins of the open swamps, wild grasses grew 
scantily in patches. There were not many of these places to be 
found, however. Wild pea vines afforded a more bountiful and 
nutritious herbage than the wild grasses of the country. As the 
" deadenings " increased in acreage and age, the pasturage grew 
better. But the pioneers had to wait a good many years for the 
grass in the deadenings. In the autumnal season, the cattle fed on 
the acorns, like the deer, and at all seasons the thick underbrush af- 
forded a nutritious browse on which cattle, horses and sheep 
" picked for a living." During the inclement winter weather when 
stock were loth to leave the clearing, the farmer felled lin, ash, 
maple and other trees that his stock might browse on the twigs. 
He, whose animals ranged the woods in quest of food, faced a con- 
stant fear of their loss by straying. The habit of wandering was 
apt to grow on all ranging animals, unless they were driven back 
to their homes at stated intervals. Statutes were passed providing 
for the return of straying beasts by the finders, but so common was 
the evil, that at one time hardly a farm could be found on which 
the recent loss of an animal was not lamented, or a posted one 
could not be pointed out. Every farmer had his " ear-mark," and 
every hoof of stock he owned, save his horses, bore it. This mark 
was made of public record, and by means of it, many a wandering 
beast was reclaimed. Upper and under-bits, smooth crops, half- 
crops, slits, swallow-forks, holes, and the like, at one time, disfig- 
ured one or both ears of every cow, hog, or sheep in the country. 


The hardships from the straying propensity of animals was felt 
in its greatest severity by the new-comer. We know that he and 
his wife and children suffered from home-sickness. So severe was 
the attack now and then, that families moved back to the old home, 
to return to the new after the spell was over. Most families visited 
the old home in a year or two, and thus tided over the spell. 
Among the early settlers was a wide-spread belief that their domes- 
tic animals not infrequently suffered the pangs of home-sickness. 
At times an irresistible desire would seem to overcome a horse, 
a pig, and sometimes a cow, to return to the old place, and much 
trouble came to the settler in consequence. Samuel Owens had a 
horse that repeatedly went back to the old home in Clark County. 
Some curious stories have been told, illustrating this disposition to 
return, the following two of which are well vouched for: 

Daniel Covert moved to the county in September, 1825, bring- 
ing with him horses, hogs and cattle. His horses becoming dis- 
quieted, set out for their old Kentucky home, but he overtook them 
near Columbus, and brought them back. Next, his hogs disap- 
peared, but he recovered them all save one sow and eight shotes. 
These, after a vain hunt, he gave up for lost. Sometime dur- 
ing the winter, business called him to Kentucky, where he re- 
mained for a few weeks, and then set out for his Johnson County 
home. On his way back, a short distance south of Graham's Fork, 
in Jennings County, and not less than fifty miles from home, he 
met his sow and eight shotes, and a new litter of pigs, on the 
march southward. On inquiry, he ascertained where she stopped 
on the way for her new progeny to be born and to grow in 
strength sufficient to bear the hardships of the further journey. 
In the early part of January, 1823, Daniel Pritchard moved to the 
Blue River settlement, from Henry County, in Kentucky. Among 
other domestic animals he brought a sow with a family of pigs, six 
weeks old. In a day or two she and her pigs were missing, and 
after much hunting he gave them up as lost. But in a few weeks 
a letter came from his old home, announcing their safe return. 
The entire journey they had made, of over a hundred miles, swim- 
ming the river on the way, and not one was missing. 

Central Indiana, at the time the first settlers came, abounded in 
wild animals, some of which, the deer, notably, was a blessing, 
while the most of the others proved a curse. Of all, the most ma- 
levolent was the wolf. He was a prowler and a thief. He hunted 
singly and in packs. The pioneer who killed a deer, dare not 
leave it in the woods over night, unless he sprung it to the top of a 
sapling. John Smiley, while living on Sugar River Creek, left his 
meat hanging under a shed at the end of his cabin, far above the 


reach of the most active dog, but the wolves came, and leaping up 
to it, dragged it down and devoured it. Young calves found by 
them in the woods they were sure to devour, and on one occasion, 
a pack ran down a full grown cow, belonging to Garrett Terhune, 
and killed her. When found, they had chewed one leg off, and 
eaten other portions. 

But it was in the destruction of sheep that the wolves did the 
greatest injury to the pioneer settler. To the wool he looked for 
his winter clothing. It made jeans for his own coat, and flannels 
and linsey woolseys for his wife's dresses; and it was therefore next 
in his economy to bread. Levi Moore, as written elsewhere, 
penned his sheep under his cabin; a few pioneers joined the pen to 
the cabin, while the greater number built a sheep house more or 
less remote from the dwelling place. If. by any chance, the flock 
was left unhoused over night, its decimation was probable be- 
fore morning. On the occasion of a great storm of wind and rain 
that arose late one afternoon, John Doty's sheep failed to reach 
shelter. That night the wolves assailed them, but the leader of the 
flock, an old ram, made such a valiant defence, that he brought 
home early the next morning, every ewe and lamb unscathed. Un- 
fortunately, however, for the hero of the occasion, his injuries were 
so severe, that after a few days he died. Of ten sheep taken to the 
Indian Creek neighborhood by Richardson Hensley, in 1824, seven 
fell victims to the wolves within three weeks. 

Let us approach the pioneer's new home. We find his cabin 
in the heart of the green woods. If a creek flows in the neighbor- 
hood of his location, we will be quite sure to find him living on a 
bit of high ground near that creek, for there he will find natural 
drainage; but if no creek be near, on the highest, dryest knoll, he 
could find on his purchase, has he built. Hard by his cabin site is al- 
most sure to be a spring of running water, which he imagines will 
flow forever, but which he will be quite sure to see dry up about 
the time his farm is cleared. Look which way he will, green trees 
lifting their stately columns skyward, are crowned by an inter- 
woven mass of branches that, when the vernal foliage puts out, ob- 
scures the sun till the autumnal frosts cut it down. Beneath is a 
dense thicket of spice-wood, hazel, green briars, young saplings 
and other underbrush, and underneath that, down trees scarcely 
less numerous than the standing, lie rotting in the dank soil. 

Amidst this thick, moist woods, the new-comer must chop and 
grub and burn out his fields if he would eat bread of the corn of 
his own tilling. No sooner is he settled than he begins the labor- 
ious work. Marking out his proposed field, with a strong arm he 
begins the toil. Every thing " eighteen inches in diameter as high 


as the knee," is felled, which, with all the down logs, save the great 
oaks and poplars, is made ready for rolling into heaps. All trees 
over that girth are left standing, and about their roots, sticks and 
brush are piled and burned to ensure speedy death and consequent 
failure of the next summer's foliage. The big logs he leaves till 
a more convenient season — a season that will hardly come ere the 
scorched trees rot and fall, and make the second clearing but little 
less laborious than the first. 

This was the general plan, and diligent was that man, who, dur- 
ing his first fall, winter and spring, prepared, unaided, his five, six 
or seven acres for rolling. Now and then a man cleared smooth. 
The late Theodore List had one such field of nine acres cut in the 
green, and he told the writer that a man could have walked all 
over his field on the logs without touching earth, before they were 
rolled. It required four days' hard work with a large force of hands 
to roll those logs. How destructive to human muscle must have 
been the log-rollings of the early days! One day, two days, the 
log-roller might have endured without any material depletion of 
bodily strength, but when it came to six, eight, twelve, twenty, 
thirty, and in some instances even more days than that, year after year, 
rolling into heaps, both green and water-soaked logs, there was 
such a draft on the vital powers as made men grow old before their 
time. John Tracy rolled logs "from fifteen to twenty days every 
year until the country was cleared up." John Carson, as late as 
1840, rolled logs twenty-two days in one year. James Ware rolled 
for thirty days one year. Peter Vandiver rolled " from twenty to 
twenty-five days every year, and went from one to five miles." 
Theodore List rolled twenty-four days in one year; Melvin Wheat 
twenty-two; George Bridges "over twenty"; Taylor Ballard 
"thirty days in common," but "rolled in one year thirty-five days," 
and Samuel Herriott thirty-six days, but he was a politician. But 
the pioneer farmer did not always have his logs rolled before plant- 
ing and tilling his crop. Not infrequently he was so hard pressed 
that he was fain to plant amid the down logs. He found it all he 
could do to grub and burn the brush. The first crop of corn Simon 
Covert raised he planted amid the logs. Serrill Winchester felled 
his trees in winrows, and planted in the open spaces between. John 
Henry, of Nineveh, planted with the hoe amid the logs, and tilled 
his corn with the same implement. 

How difficult it is to sketch a picture of life in early days, and 
leave out none of the lights and shadows. The pioneer's little field 
cleared and fenced according to the fashion of the times, the next 
step was to plow it and plant it in corn. Let the farmer of to-day, 
in imagination, enter such a field, with his well-muscled, full-fed 


team of horses encased in the best harness the most skilled work- 
man can make, and hitched to a steel plow, the like of which the 
fore-fathers never dreamed, and how disheartening his work 
would be amid the array of green stumps and trees, and the net- 
work of green roots ! And yet how superlatively more difficult it 
was for the pioneer than it would be for the farmer of to-day. His 
team (if he had one) was small and weak for the want of proper 
food; his gears, home-made, even to the hames, to the tow-cloth, 
back-band, and to the single rope plow line. He was well off if his 
horse collars were not made of corn husks, by his own or a more 
skillful neighbor's hands. His plow was a shovel pattern, or a bar- 
share, the former of which has survived in a modified form, while 
the latter has ^ong since disappeared. " This last was a bar on the 
land side with a broad flat share running to a point at the forward 
end, attached to a coulter, with a steel nose in front. The coulter ex- 
tended up through the wooden beam of the plow; two wooden 
handles are attached to the beam and to the bar of the land side of 
the plow, the other handle connected with a wooden mold board, 
which pressed out the dirt and partially turned it. It was connected 
wit' the other handle by wooden pins or rounds."* 

le bar-share plow was a cumbersome and unsatisfactory im- 
plem. it. It had a long beam, six feet or over, the bar was often 
three L : eet or more in length, and the handles raked far backward. 
The distance that intervened between the ends of the handles and the 
noses of the horses, when in motion, would, if seen in a modern 
field, lead to a good deal of jovial criticism. Plowing with the 
bar-share was laborious work, and when the point of the long bar 
struck a root, the kick-up of the long geared machine was never 
to be forgotten. It was a standing joke among the pioneer farm- 
ers, that "a bar-share would kick a man over the fence and kick 
him after he was over." In a few years the bar-share was super- 
ceded by the "Cary" plow, an implement approaching in its gen- 
eral shape the modern plow, and that in turn gave way sometime 
during the 40 ? s, to the cast-iron plow. The shovel plow was the 
pioneer farmer's favorite. With it he broke up his corn ground 
and tilled his corn. His breaking shovel plow had a coulter filled 
to the beam, which dropped to the point of the plow at such an 
angle that whenever the plow struck an impediment, it automat- 
ically "jumped out of the ground and over the root and into the 
ground on the other side." During the first years little or no har- 
rowing was done, the rough condition of the fields forbidding it. 
All grain sown broadcast on fallow ground was brushed in. 

*Dr. Philip Mason's "Autobiography," 105. 



The pioneer farmer depended as much on the hoe as on the 
plow in tilling his corn. It was the rule with nearly all, to give the 
corn at least one good hoeing, which meant that the field must be 
gone over row by row, and the corn be hoed hill by hill. The new 
ground, after two or three years of cultivation, was prolific in weeds, 
which, with the plows in use, it was next to impossible to keep 
down; hence, the resort to the hoe. Of wet years, "pulling weeds" 
was a common mode of cultivation — a mode of culture that might 
have been designed by the evil one for the special torment of boys. 
The farmer of the early times owned but few implements, and nearly 
all of these were home-made. There was usually about one hand- 
saw, one cross-cut, one broad-axe, one auger, one chisel and one 
drawing-knife to the neighborhood, and these came from the 
"east," and if not kept to loan, they might almost as well have been, . 
for everybody borrowed. If the farmer had a knack at working 
in wood, give him an axe and an auger or burning iron, and he 
could make almost any machine he was wont to work with. From 
the roots of an ash or an oak he could fashion his hames and sled- 
runners. He could make his own whifne-trees, stock his plows, 
half-sole or make his sled, make an axle-tree for his wagon, if he 
had one, make a rake, a harrow, a scythe-snath, a grain-cradle, 
a hay-rack, a loom, winding blades, a wash-board, a stool, a chair, 
and in a pinch a table, a bedstead, a " dresser " and a cradle in 
which to rock his baby. If he was more than ordinarily clever he 
repaired and sometimes made his own cooperage, but he usually 
patronized the cooper, and always the blacksmith, the tanner and 
the wheelwright. He had little use for the shoemaker because he 
mended all his own shoes and made most of them, and less for the 
fuller and tailor,* because his wife spun and wove all the cloth and 
cut and made all the clothes, and none at all for the house carpen- 
ter, because, with his axe, he could do about all the carpenter's 
work needed. 

Let us return to the settler's new field. The breaking is done 
and the corn is planted. It may be late in the season according to 
the modern idea, but we must remember that the soil is virgin and 
that all vegetation grows rampant. Mrs. Nancy Forsyth remem- 
bers that her first planting of corn-beans shot up till the vines 
caught into the lower limbs of the trees. Simon Covert laid his 
first crop of corn by, within eighteen days after planting, and raised 
fifty bushels to the acre. But the luck more often went against 
the early agriculturist than with him. Many causes combined to 
jeopardize his corn crop. It ran the risks of late spring frosts and 
of the early fall ones, it was liable to be injured by cut worms, and 
there might be too much or too little rain. These risks are yet to 



be run but the pioneer farmer experienced others and greater ones, 
which happily the modern farmer knows little or nothing of. The 
wood-peckers pulled up the sprouting plants and pecked into the 
roasting ears to an injurious extent, little dreamed of tiow-a-days; 
and when the grain had ripened, the wild turkeys feeding upon it, 
lessened the crop more than we are apt to think. And so of the 
raccoons. As soon as it was in roasting-ear state, these animals 
invaded the fields and pulling down the stalks, devoured the young 
corn like so many pigs. Samuel Doty describing to the writer the 
devastation done by the raccoons said: " The sound of their eating 
in the corn patch was like the sound of the eating of so many 
hogs." John Doty had a field of three acres entirely consumed by 
the raccoons. 

But the depredation of the grev squirrels was greater than that 
from all other causes combined. These rodents swarmed through- 
out the primitive woods. They prowled around the fields and 
found hiding places in the dead trees left standing therein. As 
soon as the seed corn was covered they began their work of de- 
struction, and kept it up till the grain was absorbed by the growing 
plant. With what certainty a squirrel will follow the row and dig 
in the corn-hills only, till he found the grain, there are men yet liv- 
ing who remember. Thence on till earing time the rodents could 
do no harm, but no sooner were the grains found on the cob than 
the spring marauders, accompanied by a full grown progeny, re- 
turned, and between themselves, the birds and raccoons, the little 
fields stood a sorry chance. Some years they were worse than 
others, but all were bad. The years 1824, 1834 ancl 1836, were 
specially bad ones. During the squirrel visitations the farmer put 
forth his utmost efforts to protect his crop. The children were 
sent to the fields armed with every conceivable device for making 
a noise. They rattled " horse fiddles " and bells, and beat on fence 
rails and hollow stumps and trees, with clubs. Mrs. Jacob Halfacre, 
a daughter of John Campbell, the first settler of the county, remem- 
bered in her old age, that the first work she and her sisters engaged 
in after their arrival on Blue River, which was about the first of 
June, was to keep the birds and squirrels out of their father's five- 
acre corn field. At daybreak he would waken her and her sisters, 
and they would immediately go to their respective stations in the 
field and begin the noisy demonstrations of the day. During the 
heat of the day the squirrels lay concealed in the woods, and they 
rested from their labors, but as the afternoon sun descended, the 
squirrels returned and they resumed their noisy demonstrations in 
the field. 

Every possible plan for the destruction of the little animals was 



resorted to. In some fields a dead-fall or other form of trap was 
to be seen in almost every fence corner. Nearly every farmer 
kept a gun, and it was used daily as long as the visitation lasted. 
Sometimes the farmers of a neighborhood would combine, and 
while one of their number would make the round of their fields, 
shooting squirrels as he went, the others would look after the till- 
ing of his corn. Jacob Banta, who settled in Union Township, in 
1832, had a hired hand, John Harrell, who, under his instructions, 
plowed half a day and shot squirrels the other half; and so faithfully 
did the hand perform his last half day's work, that the " stench 
from the putrid squirrels lying around the corn field, made the air 
sickening." The wife of John S. Miller, of Nineveh, with rifle on 
shoulder, patroled the woods around the field, and kept the squirrels 
out, while her husband tilled the corn. So good a shot did this 
pioneer woman become, that she could shoot her game in the head, 
making as few misses as any hunter in the neighborhood. 

The stories told of the abundance of squirrels some years, 
and of their destructiveness, almost challenge our credulity, but the 
stories are, nevertheless, well authenticated. Mrs. Millie Owens 
says there were seasons when she could stand in her door and see 
"fifteen or twenty squirrels on the fence at any morning or even- 
ing hour." James Owens, her husband, killed 200 in one day. 
Jacob Bower shot twenty-six on one occasion "without moving out 
of his tracks." William Freeman, without arising from his chair at 
the breakfast table, shot nine from a hill of ripening corn in the 
garden in front of his cabin door. Thomas Patterson shot two 
from a neighbor's chimney, and they fell into the fireplace Within. 
" Sometimes they were so thick they would average one to every 
tree." No wonder they ate up the land. "Among the four fami- 
lies living in White River Township, in 1821," says Judge Hardin, 
"not a single bushel of corn was saved from the squirrels and rac- 
coons." In the same year, George Barnett, on Blue River, bought 
a four-acre field of corn in the shock. "I helped remove the fod- 
der," says Ambrose, his son, "and was the lucky one. I found one 
little ear of corn. So close had been the scenting of the grey 
squirrels, that thev had overlooked but one ear in the four acres." 
John Harter stored a few bushels of corn in his cabin loft, but the 
squirrels found it out, and ere he was aware, stole every ear. 
John Smiley had a four-acre field of corn just ripened, when it was 
invaded by a swarm of the rodents, and in two days, every ear was 
eaten or carried away. 

For the first few years the pioneer farmers confined themselves 
mainly to raising corn. But after mills suitable for the grinding and bolt- 
ing of flour became accessible, they began to raise wheat. In spite of 


sultry weather, the harvest season was a joyous one. The men of 
the neighborhood combined and went from field to field reaping and 
shocking as they went. They made a sort of social occasion of it, 
and thus the labor was lightened. At first it was with sickle the 
bearded grain was cut, but soon the cradle crowded the sickle out, 
but the social feature remained. A half dozen cradles mowing 
with military precision through the waving grain, and followed by 
as many binders, and the necessary complement of sheaf gatherers 
and shockers, was a cheering sight. The labor was hard, but there 
w r as time and opportunity tor the jest and laugh. Harvesters, in 
those days, plumed themselves on their skill and endurance. Not 
every man was an expert cradler, but the ambition of every boy 
was to become one. More or less friendly emulation prevailed 
among every band of harvesters as to who should so far excel as 
to be conceded the leadership of the cradlers, and every one, 
whether cradler or binder, feared the odium that would attach 
should he, in the language of the times, " go to grass." 

The harvest season was characterized by its good living. The 
best cooks in the neighborhood vied with each other, and as a con- 
sequence harvesters lived off the fat of the land. . In many com- 
munities, perhaps in a large majority, whisky was deemed a neces- 
sity, and was passed freely with the water. In a few, butter-milk 
took the place of whisky, whilst in others, water alone was drunk. 
About the middle of the afternoon it was the custom in many places 
to send to the harvesters a basket of refreshments, the most im- 
portant part of which consisted of the coffee pot, cream pitcher and 
sugar bowl. At the close of the day's work an elaborate supper 
was eaten, after which the laborers repaired to their homes, undis- 
turbed by thoughts of dyspepsia, to rest and sleep, and be ready to 
repeat their experience on the morrow. In due time the wheat 
crop was taken to the threshing floor. This was usually prepared 
in the field by removing from a circular space, twenty or thirty feet 
in diameter, the grass, stubble and irregularities of surface, after 
which a few barrels of water were spilled over it, and it was then 
thumped with a maul, till the surface was quite smooth and hard, 
and solid. If the grain was flailed out out less pains were taken 
with the threshing floor, but usually the grain was tramped out 
with horses, and a hard floor became necessary. The grain the 
farmer removed from the chaff with a sheet. This was a slow 
process, requiring the labor of three persons, two at the sheet, and 
one to pour the chaff and grain. Fanning-mills were introduced 
slowly. Strange as it may seem, there existed in some quarters a 
prejudice against the fanning-mill, that kept it out for a good many 
years. In one neighboorhood the fanning-mill became a church 



matter, and it was seriously discussed as to whether it was not a 
violation of the laws of nature to raise the wind in so peculiarly an 
artificial manner. But the fanning-mill ultimately won. 

The pioneer farmer long found his milling a difficult problem. 
The approved style of milling for many years was to carry the 
grist on horseback. For the first two or three years the grists 
were thus carried to the White Water Mills, a distance of sixty miles. 
As the country settled up the mills drew closer, and it was not long 
before the water mills on the creeks of the countv, Smilev's, Harter's, 
Ogle's, Thompson's and others, not to mention the horse-mills, 
afforded facilities for grinding nearer home. As late as 1S30, how- 
ever, John Carson carried his grist a distance of twenty-two miles 
to mill. About the first of November, 1S24, John Stevens and 
Richardson Hensley sent their sons, with grists, to Tannehill's mill, 
on the Driftwood, about six miles north of Columbus. The corn 
had been gathered and dried for the purpose. The boys were 
Gideon Stevens, aged ten years,, and Elijah Harrell, his foster 
brother, aged eleven, and Bloomfield Hensley, also aged eleven. 
Each carried two bushels in a sack, strapped to the horse's back. 
It took two days to go and return. 

How did the pioneer spend his winters? He fed his beasts. 
His horses he usuallv kept in an unchinked log stable, and his cows 
he left out of doors to endure the winter weather as best they could. 
It required man}- vears for him to realize the economic value of 
warm barns for his beasts, or to think it worth while to prepare a 
drv, comfortable place for his wife to do the milking in. He cut 
and hauled firewood from time to time, as it was needed; some- 
where around his cabin was the woodpile, like as not it was near 
the front door. If a lane passed the front door, the woodpile was 
quite sure to be in that lane. To this woodpile he drew wood on 
his sled, principally limbs of dead trees from the deadening, or he 
dragged whole trunks of trees to it on the log sled or the "ljz- 
zard." In the woodpile he cut his wood as he needed it, and bo'th 
cut and uncut took the rain and the snow and the sleet, the same 
as the unhoused cattle. The woodpile in the lane was a conspicu- 
ous place during pioneer times. Here the sled, the log sled and 
the lizzard were, also axes, mauls and wedges lay around. In pro- 
cess of time its mound of chips became the driest spot on the farm, 
and while it was not always suffered to become a bedding place for 
the hogs, it seldom escaped being the milking place and the sleep- 
ing place of the cows. There are men yet living who have a lively 
recollection of the odors that exhaled from the woodpile during the 
spring and summer weather. 

344 johnson county. 

On suitable days the pioneer made rails or worked in his clear- 
ing, and on bad ones he half-soled his sled, made a handle for his 
axe, mended his gears, fashioned a basket, and made and mended 
shoes for himself and family. Or, perhaps, he went hunting. Not 
all of the pioneers were hunters, but a majority were more or less 
fired with a love for the chase. And what a splendid hunting 
ground lay at their doors ! The woods were full of game — bears, 
panthers, wolves, deers, wild turkeys — what a rare catalogue for 
the lovers of forest sports! To some the chase brought in its sea- 
son, lasting delight, while to all, the game was a never failing 
source of food supply. Johnson County was well supplied with 
most excellent " licks," to which the deer resorted in great num- 
bers, all through the warm season of the year, and the merest tyro 
could kill a deer in a " lick." The county, as indeed all of central 
Indiana, abounded in a bountiful and variegated mast, on which the 
deers, bears and wild turkeys fed and fattened in its season, and 
little wonder the woods abounded in game. Joab Woodruff is said 
to have killed 370 deer in the fall of 1S22, and George Doty told 
the writer that he killed 300 in 1S21 and 1822. Samuel Herriott 
bought 600 deer hides one year. Nathan Perry says he has fre- 
quently seen as many as forty deer in one herd. Judge Franklin 
Hardin remembers to have seen as many as twenty-five on one oc- 
casion, corralled in a bend of White River. William Burkhart 
found Rock Lick, in Union Township, by pursuing a well beaten 
path, known as a run-way, leading to it for a distance of seven 
miles. Isaac Collier shot thirteen deer early one morning, at Col- 
lier's Lick, in the edge of Brown County. In 1834, Henry Mus- 
sulman started a herd of deer in the vicinity of Franklin, which he 
followed to within a short distance of Indianapolis, and thence back 
to their starting place, and during the chase killed six. 

Venison was plenty indeed, and unskillful was that pioneer who . 
could not now and then secure one for his table. Many persons 
kept the larder supplied the year round. William Rutherford, on 
one occasion, knocked one in the head with an axe, as it ran past 
him where he was making rails. One, pursued by dogs, took shelter 
in Gideon Drake's sheep pen adjoining his cabin, and Mrs. Drake 
and a neighbor woman, closing the door of the pen, slaughtered it, 
and made venison of it before the pursuing hunter came up. One 
Sunday morning, shortly after King's cabin was built, Isaac Voor- 
heis was sitting on the bank of Young's Creek, immediately south 
of Judge Woollen's present residence. Hearing the bay of a dog 
up the creek, he looked that way, and saw a deer coming toward 
him. Keeping quiet, it came down to a point opposite to him and 



plunged in, but the current carried it down against a log, when 
Voorheis rushed in and caught it, and in his hands it became veni- 
son for the family. 

Wild turkeys were more abundant even than deer. Wherever 
there was food for them they were to be found in goodly numbers. 
Their " keonk" was a familiar sound to the inmates of every cabin. 
In the spring of 1823, a drove passed over the after site of Frank- 
lin, numerous enough to make a well marked trail a hundred yards 
in width, but they were extremely poor, and were, no doubt, migrating 
in search of food. Simon Covert has been heard to sav that for 
several vears after he moved to the neighborhood of the Big Spring, 
he could at any time within a two hours' hunt during the fall and 
early winter season, kill one or more turkeys. Jacob Fisher was 
an expert turkev-pen builder, and thought nothing of catching six 
or eight turkevs at a time in his pen. As late as 1S50, flocks of 
fifty were to be seen in the woods in Union Township, and in 1856, 
a wild turkev hen hatched a brood within fifty yards of John Bar- 
low's house in Clark Township. Wild turkeys often did much 
mischief scratching up the newly planted corn, eating it after it was 
grown, and treading down the smaller grain before it was harvested. 
Richardson Hensley, of Hensley Township, lost his first planting 
of corn by the turkeys scratching it up. 

Men who bring a wilderness, inhabited by wild beasts, to a state 
of civilization, never lack in romantic incidents with which to add 
flavor to the tales told in old age. There are but few, indeed, who 
do not yield to the charm of border life incident. Men who came 
in conflict with the wild beasts of the country, necessarily met 
with experiences that when afterward related, bordered on the 
romantic. However dangerous some of the encounters had 
with the wild animals by the pioneer hunters o; the county, 
no man ever lost his life, or for that matter, received serious injury, 
save Lewis Hendricks, who lived in the Sugar Creek neigh- 
borhood, in an encounter with a bear, when he met with an accident 
that left him disabled for life. He had wounded the animal, and in 
company with a neighbor, was hunting for it. One on either side 
of a brush fence in which it was supposed to be lying, they were 
walking slowly along, when it rushed out and attacked Hendricks. 
His companion ran to his assistance and shot the infuriated animal, 
but not before it had stripped the flesh from his arm, and other- 
wise injured him. 

Hardly a hunter of any note lived in the county during the 
first ten years, who could not boast of his success as a bear hunter. 
Curtis Pritchard, William Spears, Robert Worl and Jacob Woodruff, 
while hunting, found three full-grown bears holed in trees. Kind- 


ling a fire in the hollow of one of the trees, one was smoked out 
and shot. Cutting the tree down before it fell, another descended 
and ran with such rapidity as to escape the flying bullets. Five 
dogs pursued it, and, after a half-mile chase, brought it to bay. 
Two of the dogs it killed outright, and crippled badly two others, 
before it was dispatched. The third beast was shot and killed as 
the tree fell in which it had concealed itself. Bear meat was prized 
by some as an article of food. Benjamin Crews had at one time 
800 pounds of the meat cured and smoked like bacon, which he 
sold for the same price. 

The most ferocious beast that roamed the woods was the 
panther. The bear, the wolf, and even the deer, would fight 
savagely when in close quarters, but each would run from the 
hunter whenever it could. The panther, on the contrary, was re- 
puted to make battle with man without provocation. Two brothers 
by the name of Smith, living in Nineveh, in the early days, went to 
hunt straying cattle. They carried no guns, and when night came, 
they made a camp-fire and lay down and slept. During the night 
one of them was awakened by a noise, and stirring the fire to a 
blaze, he plainly heard a panther leap off through the bushes to an 
open space not far distant, where it stopped and lashed the earth 
with its tail. Several panthers were shot at Collin's Lick, one by 
a man named John Weiss, and under circumstances showing the 
narrow risk an unskilled hunter sometimes ran. Weiss carried a 
very inefficient arm, and had no experience as a hunter. He went 
to the lick to watch for deer, and while hiding in ambush, he 
happened to look around and was horrified to see close by, a 
panther crouched, ready to spring upon him. Without a thought, 
he brought his gun to bear upon it, and through sheer good luck, 
shot it dead in its tracks. Weiss never went hunting again. 

Near the headwaters of Honey Creek, Samuel and John Bell 
were lying in wait at a marsh much frequented by deer. The sun 
went down and twilight was coming on, when Samuel's attention 
was directed to an object crawling toward his brother, who was 
several yards away. It was a panther, and he knew enough of the 
habits of the animal to know it meant mischief. But he was an ex- 
perienced hunter, a good marksman and with all, had a cool head 
and steady nerves. Taking deliberate aim, he shot the beast 
through the head. More hunters, however, got into trouble with 
wounded deer than with all the other animals of the country. 
John Smiley once knocked one over, and on going to it, it arose to 
meet him with " hair turned the wrong way." Smiley sprang be- 
hind a sapling and it made a push at him with lowered antlers. 
Laying hold of a horn on either side of the sapling, he held on for 



dear life. Round and round both went until wearied with the fruit- 
less contest, the buck smoothed its hair in token that his light was 
over, when Smiley let go, and he walked off undisturbed. Joseph 
Young, of Union Township, knocked a buck down cne day, and 
on touching its throat with the knife, it sprang to its feet and made 
at him. Young jumped behind a large oak tree and the deer took 
after him, but by hook and by crook, he managed to keep the tree 
between him and his assailant, receiving no more than an occasional 
pick of the horn. After its rage had abated, it gave its antlers a 
toss and disappeared in the thicket. 

One of the most desperate encounters with a wounded deer was 
had by Henry Mussulman. To the throat of a paralyzed buck he 
touched his knife, when it gave an unexpected flounce, sending his 
knife flying through the bushes. It was a powerful deer, and the 
hunter who had his knee on its head and a firm hold of its antlers 
saw at a glance, that his safety depended on holding it down. Of 
course there was a struggle, and although the advantage at first 
was with the hunter, yet it soon became evident to him that the 
animal's power of endurance was equal to, if not greater than, his 
own. His knife was lost, and his unloaded gun was leaning 
against a tree more than twenty feet away. What was he to do? 
Realizing more and more that his safetv lay on keeping on top, he 
held on in grim desperation. In their struggle a spice bush was 
broken, and in the splintered stub he thought he saw a weapon of 
deliverance. If he could only put those baleful eyes out, the vic- 
tory was his. One after another he broke off the splintered stubs, 
and jabbed them into the creature's eyes, till their sight was gone, 
after which he left the blind Sampson of the woods to stumble over 
the logs and thrash through the bushes in impotent rage, till he 
could load his gun and give it the death shot. 

Another incident in this connection, may be mentioned. Jesse 
Wells, an old time settler on the Blue River, who was long well- 
known as a Methodist minister, was given to hunting. On one oc- 
casion he " creased *' a deer, and proceeded to bleed it. Taking hold 
of its hind leg to turn it over, the creature came to life, and giving 
one tremendous kick, which knocked the knife so far away that it 
was never afterward found, the animal leaped to its feet and furi- 
ously assailed him. Wells was a lithe, active man, but in spite of 
his "best efforts to secure shelter behind a large poplar standing 
close by, the enraged brute succeeded in piercing his knee with 
one of the sharp prongs of its antler. Once behind the tree the 
animal abandoned the fight, and disappeared in the forest. Jesse 
Wells ever after walked with a stiff knee, which came of the wound 
received in that fight. 


Thus far have we written, using the masculine he, his and him* 
almost exclusively. Of course she was there, the sharer in all the 
hardships that befell him, and in all his triumphs. But let us enter 
the cabin and catch a glimpse of her life. All through the summer 
and fall the wife has been as busy as the husband, and during the 
winter, if possible, more so. Perhaps the labor of cooking was not 
as severe as in this day of greater abundance. Certainly there 
w r as less to cook, and for that matter, less to cook it in. The pioneer 
housewife had never seen a cooking stove. If she had a skillet, a 
metal oven, a boiling pot or two, a frying pan, a coffee pot, a griddle 
and a johnny-cake board, she knew herself to be well supplied with 
cooking utensils. She baked her loaves and pones and dodgers 
in the oven, and her biscuits and slapjacks in the skillet. Her 
chunks of venison, back bones and spare-ribs, she roasts in the metal 
oven. Into the same vessel she puts her sweet potatoes, Irish po- 
tatoes, and, when the orchard comes to bearing, her apples also, 
when she wants to bake them. If she wants a pound cake on an 
extra occasion, she bakes it in a teacup, set in that oven, or, if a 
pie, she slips the plate in which it is made into the hot oven or 
skillet. Her boiled dinners came out of the pot much as her grand- 
daughter's do to-day ; and her chicken pot-pies, the favorite dish at 
every house raising and log-rolling, came piping hot out of the 
same pot or its mate. Naught came to her larder that she could 
not cook to suit the taste of those who sat at her board. 

But cooking was to her a minor care. Children were apt to 
come in quick succession in her cabin, and they had to be clothed 
as well as fed, and upon her fell the burden of their clothing. She 
might, or she might not, have to go into the clearing and " pick 
trash" or "nigger logs," or "right up" burning log heaps. She 
might, or she might not, have to hoe corn and pull weeds or stand 
guard in the field to keep the squirrels out; but there was no 
escaping the clothing question. She was responsible for the jeans 
and the linsey. Her husband sowed the flax and sheared the sheep, 
for this was a man's work. If he pulled the flax and washed the 
wool he did well, for it was not so certain that this was a man's 
work. He broke the flax and peeled the walnut bark with which 
the wool was dyed, but there his work ended, unless the weather 
was very bad, when he might " swingle " the flax. She washed 
the wool and picked the burs out of it, and saw that a part of it 
was properly placed between layers of walnut bark in the drying 
trough, and then covered with water and left to soak till the ooze 
gave it the right color. That done, she dried it and washed it and, 
until the carding machines came, hand-carded both the colored and 
uncolored, into rolls and spun them into yarn, " sixteen to twenty 



cuts a dav, besides the regular housework." It there was an out- 
house, the loom was set up therein, but if no out-house, it went 
into a corner of the cabin, even if a bed had to be pulled down to 
make place for it, and on that loom she wove the web of jeans, the 
flannels, the linseys, the tow-linen, and the table cloths, the sheet- 
ings, the towelings, the coverlets, not forgetting a web of linen 
" seven hundred fine " for her husband's Sunday and court-day 
shirts. If she was a good weaver she could weave three yards of 
jeans per day and do her housework, and five or six yards of flan- 
nel or linsey and do her other work. 

But the spinning — -and I have not mentioned the hackling and 
the spinning of flax — and the weaving did not bring her to the end 
of her toil. No, indeed; she was the seamstress and the tailoress, 
and before the web was finished perhaps, she has had to cut off a 
piece for a garment for one of the boys. Hundreds of mothers in 
Johnson County did this. But whether she finished her web before 
thus cutting, or after, the burden of cutting and making the clothes 
for the family fell upon her. Her husband might patronize the 
tailor when it came to cutting and making his Sunday frock coat, 
but if his wife was particularly bright, he let her do it. At any 
rate she cut and made all his every day clothes; she cut and made 
the boys' "dandys," roundabouts, jackets, "warmuses," trousers 
and shirts, and knit all the socks; she cut and made all her own 
clothes, and all her daughters', till they grew old enough to help her. 
What toil was hers to be sure. There was no season of the year 
marking the end of her labors; no days of bad weather gave her 
rest. Not even the night could she call her own, for long after she 
had put her children to sleep, she darned and patched their frayed 
clothes. Even when she visited, she carried her knitting or sewing. 
Only when her hand was enfeebled in old age or palsied in death 
did she rest. The times were primitive, and fashions underwent 
little or no changes for a generation. Every young man of conse- 
quence was expected to provide himself with a broadcloth suit for 
the event of his marriage, which was to be the suit of his life, and 
to last for dry weather and Sunday-wear for many years. If his wife 
got a silk dress on that occasion, she was pretty sure to keep it till 
she could exhibit it to her grandchildren. "Spring bonnets" and 
"fall bonnets" were unknown. On all ordinary occasions, the 
"sun bonnet" was deemed good enough, but in most cabins, es- 
pecially of church-going people, there was a box or deep drawer, 
smelling of rose leaves, which held among other articles of finery, 
" mother's bonnet." It was not the home-made, and it never went 
out of fashion, till the dear old head, which it was made to cover, 
was shut out from mortal sight beneath the coffin lid. 


How the times have changed since the days when Johnson 
Count}* was being settled! It may be doubted whether there was 
a vehicle in the count}* the first ten years other than the road wagon 
or cart. The first carriage taken to Union Township was in 1831. 
In those days both men and women walked or rode on horseback, 
when making neighborhood journeys. Men's and women's saddles 
were unusually conspicuous furniture in the entries and porches of 
the cabins of the well-to-do of the early days. Quite frequently, 
however, husbands and wives rode double — a practice, when once 
begun, that was quite apt to be kept up till the third child was 
born. It was inconvenient to ride double and carry more than 
two children. Even swains and their sweethearts thought nothing 
of riding double. 

I have been asked, "How were the cabins of the pioneers 
lighted of evenings? " The blazing fire in the large fire place threw 
a flood of light all over the cabin and its inmates. By the firelight 
the family talked, the children cracked nuts or played games, the 
mother spun or knit, and the youth of an inquiring mind read in 
such books as came to hand. If a better light than the fire-light 
was needed, it came from a metal lamp of rude pattern in which 
grease sputtered around a burning rag wick, or from a tallow can- 
dle. The fire on the hearth stone was an object of more solicitude 
in the e,arly days than in these. If it went out, as it sometimes 
did, what would the inmates of the cabin do? Borrow. There 
were no matches, and the flint and steel was always the last resort. 
There are men living, who, while yet boys, knew what it was to 
trudge through the snow, a half mile or more, to borrow a fire brand 
to renew the flame at home. In the summer season a log in the 
field or deadening would often be kept smouldering to keep fire in 
stock, while in winter the coals and brands would be carefully 
buried in the embers for, the same purpose. 

Allusion has been made elsewhere to the frequency of evening 
visits among the pioneers. To light their pathway through the 
gloomy forests, the leader usually carried a firebrand, which he 
waved back and forth over the path ; or, if the night was extremely 
dark, he carried a torch made of hickory bark or of dry oak splin- 
ters; though some carried lanterns. A gourd bored full of gimlet 
holes and fitted with a socket within, to hold a candle, made a lan- 
tern that was sometimes seen, though the favorite lantern was the 
tin lantern, so aptly described by Longfellow, the poet, in " The 
Theologian's Tale": 

Pierced with holes, and round, and roofed like the top of a lighthouse, 
Casting into the dark a net work of glimmer and shadow. 


Much has been said and written of the want of markets in the 
early days. Perhaps that want has been unduly magnified. The 
people had so little to sell that the want of a market could not have 
been greatly felt. As late as sometime in the 4o's, very little sur- 
plus produce was grown in Johnson County- All the corn pro- 
duced was fed therein, and there was oftener too little for that purpose 
than too much. The first market for which there was any substan- 
tial demand, was the hog market, and it was not deemed any par- 
ticular hardship in those days, to drive hogs in droves to the river 
towns. After a few years a little surplus wheat was produced, 
and the farmer who hauled to Madison or Lawrenceburg, receiv- 
ing 25 cents, 37 }4 cents, or 50 cents per bushel, found little 
profit in it. But for many years there were few farmers who 
had more than one wagon-load to spare for the market. The 
majority found after setting apart the seed wheat and wheat 
for bread, that there was less than a load, and as a conse- 
quence, it was quite common for two neighbors to unite their 
teams and make up a joint load, and go together to the river town. 
About 1844, the wheat crops of the county began to increase to such 
an extent, that its marketing became an object of interest to the 
farming community. The railroad from Madison was slowly being 
built towards Franklin, and its ultimate completion was anxiously 
looked for. Between the 1st and 30th of October, 1846, 14,494 
bushels of wheat were bought in Franklin at 50 cents per bushel, 
all wf which was hauled to Ediaburg. The cars did not reach 
Franklin till sometime between the 17th and 24th day of August, 

t8 47- , * 

For many years dressed pork in the county was worth $1.50 

and $2.00 per cwt., although it sometimes sold as low as $1.00. 
Good work horses were worth from $25 to $50 each; milch cows 
from $5.00 to $10.00. Joab Woodruff bought twenty head of one 
and two-year-old cattle, when he came to the county, for $50, which 
was $2.50 each. Chickens sold, for 50 cents to 75 cents per 
dozen. Fat turkeys, tame or wild, from 15 to 25 cents each; 
butter, 5 to 8 cents per pound; eggs, 3 to 5 cents per doz- 
en; saddles of venison, from 25 to 50 cents; maple sugar, 6% to 10 
cents per pound; coon skins were worth from 20 to 40 cents, de- 
pending on quality; deer skins, 20 to 30 cents, but about 1824 or 
1825, Samuel Herriott bought 500 at 6 cents each. Farm labor 
was worth from $8 to $10 per month, while 25 cents per hundred 
was the customary price for cutting timber and making rails. In 
1 82 5, Henry Mussulman made rails for a bushel of meal per 
hundred, and 'the meal was worth 25 cents per bushel. Jacob 
Banta paid $3.00 per acre for clearing land eighteen inches and 


under. Corn brought from 10 to 20 cents per bushel; oats, from 
8 to 12 i< cents, and ginseng, 25 cents per pound. This last article 
was for many years one of the chief articles of exportation. All 
ages and sexes hunted for, and dug, ginseng with great persever- 
ance and industry, sure of a certain sale of all they could rind, at a 
good price for that day. 

Foreign stuffs were of high price. Samuel Herriott bought four 
pounds of coffee at 50 cents per pound, as he came through Mad- 
ison to this county, in 1820, and when George King moved out in 
1823, he paid 62]/ 2 cents per pound in the same market. On the 
authority of the late Thomas Williams, it may be stated that Daniel 
Taylor, the first merchant in Franklin, sold two and a half pounds 
of coffee for $1, but the quality is not known. From the books 
kept by Daniel Mussulman, of his mercantile transactions in 1835 
and 1836, it appears that prices ruled at that time as follows: coffee, 
20 cents per pound; tea, $1.50; pepper, 25; salt, 2]/ 2 \ sugar, 12 j£ 
to 16%; indigo, i6}4 per ounce; iron, 10; nails, 9^; sugar ket- 
tles, 5 cents per pound; book muslin, 75 cents per yard; calico, 
37^2 to 40^ cents; flannels, 75 cents, and blue jeans, 37/^; wall 
paper (for window shades), I2}4 cents per yard; bed tickings, 30; 
domestics, 16^3, and shirtings, 25 cents; tin cups, 6% each; alma- 
nacs, same price; meal sieves, 75 cents; grass scythes, $1; sickles, 
62^ to 75; wool cards, 37^ to 43; paper of pins, 12^; paper of 
tacks, 25; foolscap paper, 25 cents per quire; letter paper, 37/^; 
saddle blankets, $1.50 each; a "Leghorn bonnet," $2.25, and 
"trimmings for same," $1.43. The natural result of men's sur- 
roundings was to foster a spirit of industry and economy. The 
scarcity of money and the great difficulty of getting it, made men 
thoughtful in spending it. Luxurious living was not thought of, 
and extravagant expenditures were seldom indulged. And men 
were careful to look after their just dues. Not a few instances ap- 
pear in the old records, of claims being filed against the county for 
12^ cents, 18^ cents and 25 cents. It is in memory that a custo- 
mer at a store was found on settlement indebted to the merchant in 
the sum of 18^ cents, and had not the money wherewith to pay. 
The merchant wrote a note which the customer signed and after- 
ward paid. With the habits of industry and economy appertaining 
to the pioneers of this county, there could be but one result. They 
improved the county and accumulated wealth, and their well im- 
proved farms, and 'the great material wealth of to-day, are the nec- 
essary outcome of all this primitive toil and thrift. 

The scarcity of money goes without saying. There was next 
to no money in circulation for many years after the first settlements 
were made. An era of speculation followed the close of the war, 


the evil effects of which began to be felt about 1819. Then it was 
the banks began to weaken, and in no state were the results more 
serious than in the new State of Indiana. " The hank of Vin- 
cennes, which had become the State Bank of Indiana, with branches 
at Corydon, Vevay and Brookville," failed, leaving for that day a 
large sum of worthless paper in the pockets of the western people. 
The money in circulation in Indiana consisted mainly of depreciated 
bank bills and silver, mostly of Spanish coinage. The lips, nine- 
pences and quarters were kept in circulation till worn out, while 
the half dollars and dollars were cut into halves and quarters usu- 
ally denominated " sharp shins." 

For many years after the state government was organized, its 
fiscal officers annually reported the depreciation of the state's money 
in the treasury, for which the General Assembly authorized the 
proper credit. One such instance occurs in the history of Johnson 
County, and doubtless there were others. In 1826, the board of 
justices allowed John Campbell, the county agent, a credit of 13^ 
cents for depreciation of money in his hands belonging to the 
county library fund. 

This scarcity of money was not as serious an evil as it may 
seem to the reader of the present. The pioneers were less depen- 
dent, in a certain sense, than the people of to-day. Almost every 
thing that went into the living of the people, was produced in the 
country, and out of the want of money, a system of exchanges 
arose, which made its want unfelt. The taxes were next to noth- 
ing, and but little money was needed. A man out of debt could 
get along quite well with an exceedingly small sum during the 
year. The ginseng that was dug by the family was readily bart- 
ered for coffee or calico, at 25 cents per pound. His deer hides 
and venison saddles, the merchant took likewise in exchange for 
" store goods." If he had one horse more than he needed, he gave 
it in exchange for clearing and rail making, and the little money he 
found in his pocket toward the end of the year, he paid out in 
taxes and for leather to make shoes for his family, not forgetting 
himself a hat, and once in a long while, his* wife a shawl, or an ex- 
tra Sunday dress. Many a pioneer has been compelled for want 
of the necessary postage, to leave his letter in the postoffice for 
weeks. To all the other obstacles that the Johnson County pioneer 
encountered, add the scourge of sickness incident to the new coun- 
try. For forty years the autumnal fevers withstood the skill of the 
physicians throughout central Indiana. These fevers, of both inter- 
mittent and remittent types, appeared oftentimes in their most ag- 
gravated forms, and occasionally neighborhoods would almost be 
depopulated by them. 


The years 1820, 1S21, and 1822, were attended by more fatal 
sickness in the southern border counties than has ever been ex- 
perienced since. Whole communities in some instances fell vic- 
tims to the prevailing diseases. So alarming did the mortality 
become, that by an act of the General Assembly passed December 
31, 1821, Friday, the 2nd day of the following April, was set apart 
as a day for public prayer to "God Almighty, that He may avert 
the just judgments impending our land, and, that in His manifold 
mercies, He will bless the country with fruitful seasons, and our citi- 
zens with health and peace." That same year, 182 1, an epidemic 
of intermittent and remittent fevers set in during the latter part of 
July, in the new town of Indianapolis, and continued until some time 
in October, during which nearly every person was more or less in- 
disposed, and seventy-two, or about one-eighth of the population, 

The fall succeeding the first settlements in the spring, the 
scourge broke out on Blue River, and prevailed to such an extent, 
that there were hardly enough well people to attend to the wants 
of the sick ones. In the eighteen families living in that neighbor- 
hood, two adults, one the wife of Joseph Townsend, and the other, 
Richard Connor, died. There were no sawed boards in the place 
suitable for making a coffin, in which to bury Mrs. Townsend 
(whose death is beiieved to have been the first" white person's in 
the county), and in the emergency, Allen Williams knocked the 
back out of his kitchen cupboard, and with the lumber thus ob- 
tained, made a coffin. About the same time a man by the name of 
Mills, died in the Whetzel neighborhood, near the Morgan County 
line, and hjs coffin was made of boards hewn with the broad axe 
out of wild cherry wood. The same fall Thomas Beeler, while en- 
deavoring to found a settlement in the White River bottom, above 
the Bluffs, fell a victim to the scourge of the country. Up to 1836, 
there was little or no abatement in the malignance of the pre- 
vailing fevers. After that time there was a perceptible diminution 
of sickness throughout the county, which lasted up to about 1843, 
when the tide turned again, and for a period of five or six years, in- 
termittents and remittents again scourged the land. 

About 1859, tne fi rst draining tile manufactory was established 
in the county, and it marked the beginning of the era of the final 
disappearance of the autumnal fevers. Since the wet lands of the 
county have been cleared and drained, a case of fever of the types, 
common in the early days, rarely is developed. 

How to be feared, and how inexpressibly gloomy the sickly 
seasons were to the pioneers, their descendents can never know. 

* Drake's Diseases of the Valley of North America, 311. 


An attack of bilious fever, or of fever and ague, might run its 
course in a few days, and the patient be " up and about "' again. 
Indeed, with the " fever and ague " a great many were in bed only 
while the paroxysm lasted. And yet, apparently, the most innocent 
form of autumnal sickness might at anv moment, develop into a 
malignant type of disease, requiring instantaneous and the most 
heroic treatment, to save the patient's life. One might have two 
or three chills in as many days, each followed bv fever, and there be 
no cause for alarm; but if a "sinking chill" set in, the experienced 
ones knew how important it was to have medical attention at once. 
Unless a re-action could be brought about, the patient's death was 
quite sure to occur within a day or two. As soon as the doctor 
reached the bed-side of such a sick person, he began at once a 
course of treatment calculated to bring about the desired re-action. 
Stimulants such as brandy, capsicum and quinine were given in 
large doses, and applications of mustard were freelv made. In- 
stances are given, where, during fourteen hours ioo grains of quinine 
and one quart of brandy have been administered before a re-action 
could be brought about. On one occasion, a man had a sinking chill, 
which was followed by a sweat that lasted two davs and two nights. 
At midnight a doctor visited him, and among other things, prescribed 
a dose of rhubarb. His wife got the medicines mixed, and instead of 
the rhubarb, administered 120 grains of capsicum at one dose. The 
next morning when the doctor returned, she met him at the gate with 
the tears streaming down her face, and lamenting that she was the 
unfortunate cause of her huaband's death. After examining his 
patient, and finding that he had passed the crisis, the doctor re- 
lieved the wife of her anguish by saying, " Madame, your mistake 
has saved your husband's life." 

Doctors' services were hard to secure in the beginning, and the 
medicines known to the people, were powerless in bad cases of 
sickness. Elisha Adams, who died in the fall of 182^, was visited 
by a doctor who came from Columbus. Nor infrequently the 
doctors themselves succumbed to the prevalent diseases. At one 
time, in the town of Franklin, of five physicians, only two, Drs. 
Donnell and Ritchey, were able to ride, and so extensively were 
their services in demand, that they rede from place to place on a 
gallop, each riding daily not less than fifty miles. Judge Franklin 
Hardin gives the following graphic description of the condition of 
affairs during the sickly seasons : 

" Death numbered his victims bv hundreds. The land was 

filled with mourning, and the graveyards filled with the pioneer 

dead. Many persons seemed to die from pure stagnation of 

blood in the veins. The doctors, by following the old system, only 



accelerated the ■ crisis. Active stimulants only were found to be 
suitable. A quart of whisky in a night, with large doses of qui- 
nine, once more restored life and mobility to the blood and saved 
the patient. From the first of August to the first of October in 
each year, no business requiring labor was set apart to be per- 
formed. Sickness was the rule, and business was despatched, 
medicines provided and preparations made to meet the sickly sea- 
son. After this was over, in any assemblage, one-half the members 
at least, wore pale faces. This was the age of quackery and 
quack medicines. After the quinine in the shops was used up, 
which was often the case before half the sickly season was over, 
the people had no remedy except in the use of boneset and gentian. 
The sick, therefore, readily fell in with any promised relief. Sap- 
pington's pills and others, with big names, heralded by along list of 
curative virtues, found a ready sale. Against the walls of every 
cabin, suspended from nails, hung two or three dozen small bottles 
already emptied of their contents, but with little, if any realization to 
the sick, of the promised benefit. A cart-load could have been gath- 
ered in a day, and such a collection would present to our children now 
an interesting and strange display of old curiosities, and form a 
long catalogue of quack nostrums." 

It remains to take a glance at the intellectual and moral condition 
of the pioneers. We have seen something of the poverty of the 
people in general: the intellectual was as great if not greater. Bor- 
der life seldom promotes mental activity. The home life of the 
pioneer was one of hum-drum toil. The subjects of his thought 
and conversation were usually of the commonplace. No newspa- 
pers came freighted with the world's occurrences, to stir the pulses 
of his life. He knew, and would know, nothing of what was going 
on outside of his immediate neighborhood, save as he might hear 
from the lips of an occasional acquaintance, or stranger whom he 
met from abroad. He had but few books, and read little in those 
he had. When he talked it was usually with one whose area of 
knowledge was no wider than his own. How utterly dry and dull 
and fruitless life must have been to the many in those days. There 
was, however, an excepted class. The men who indulged in the 
chase could not help being students to some extent of natural his- 
tory. They studied the ways of the beasts and the birds. They 
learned to read the " signs " in the woods and along the streams, 
and became more or less experts in woodcraft. These men be- 
came educated in a certain sense, and in old age they, in general, 
could talk intelligently and instructively of what they had seen and 
learned of forest life. 

The early pioneers, unconsciously, perhaps, felt the evil ten- 


dency of their surroundings, and longed that their children might 
be better. Most of them had been scantily educated in youth, and 
all expressed a desire to see their own children have the advan- 
tages of the good schooling that had been denied them. In ac- 
cordance therewith, whenever the number of children in a neighbor- 
hood was enough to fill a school-house, one was provided, and a 
schoolmaster employed. Those first school-houses were of the 
most primitive style, and the first schoolmasters were in general 
meagerly educated, but both served their purpose. That first 
generation of scholars may not have been as well trained in the 
rudiments of knowledge as are their great-grandchildren of to-day, 
but the zeal for the cause of elementary training which they de- 
rived from their fathers and the poorlv equipped schools, they 
passed on down the line, and the great-grandchildren are reaping 
the benefit to-day. 

The inquirer after the facts of the past is constantly reminded 
of the exhibition of lawlessness on the part of some at the begin- 
ning, and for several years after the county was organized. But it 
was mainly confined to lower grade crimes. An examination of 
the records of the Circuit Court of the county for a few years after 
its organization, discloses a state of society which indicates, at a 
glance, something of the moral condition of the people. At the 
March term of this court for 1824, the second term of court ever 
held in the county, of six causes on the docket, four were for bat- 
teries and affrays. At the September term of that year of twelve 
causes, eight were criminal, five being for batteries and affrays. 
At the March term for 1825, of fifteen causes on the docket, ten 
were criminal causes, seven of which were for batteries and affrays. 
At the September term of that year, of fifteen causes, eight were 
criminal and seven for batteries and affrays. At the March term 
for 1826, of nineteen causes in all, thirteen were criminal, and of 
these, eleven were for batteries and affrays. At the September 
term for the same year, of seventeen causes on the docket, ten were 
criminal, and of these, seven were for batteries and affrays. 
At the March term, for 1827, of thirty-seven causes in all, nine- 
teen were criminal, and of these, sixteen were for batteries and af- 
frays. At the September term for that year, of thirty-seven causes, 
twenty-one were criminal, and of these, nineteen were for batteries 
and affrays. And so on. The record shows that the fighting and 
quarreling prevailed to an amazing extent. The principal business 
of the circuit court (and we have no record of what was done by 
the justices) was trying cases of assault and battery and of affrays. 
In 1826 there were 173 votes cast at the general election held in 
the county, and eighteen prosecutions in the Circuit Court for fight- 


itog, which was one fight to every ninth voter. And yet in the face 
Of these figures, men whose memories took in the times when they 
were being made, were wont to say that " not half the fights in the 
county ever got into the courts," and I think their estimate was 
about right. 

But the reader must not be misled by the figures. The county 
taken as a whole was far less given to turbulence than the figures 
would seem to indicate. There was relatively but little fighting 
done in the country neighborhoods. Most of it took place at the 
elections, at the musters, and at the towns. At the first election on 
I^lue River, which was held at the house of Hezekiah Davison, the 
first keg of whisky ever brought to the county was on the ground 
in the interest of William Williamson, a candidate for clerk of the 
Circuit Court. Being free to all thirstv voters, during the day, 
many became intoxicated, after which a promiscuous fight was in- 
augurated, during which the combatants beat, bit, scratched and 
gouged each other, and wallowed in the mud and mire as was never 
known in the county before, and for that matter, for many years 
after. On the same day at the White River voting place, it is re- 
membered that John Doty and Permenter Mullenix had a hard 
fight over their respective candidates. Men fought over very triv- 
ial matters in those days, but to their credit be it written, they 
usually deferred their collisions till they could meet in some public 
place, and hence the country neighborhoods were far less pestered 
with brawls than the court records would seem to indicate. 

Strange as it may sound to modern ears, it is nevertheless true 
that men fought for the sport of the thing. It was not uncommon 
for a lusty man, who, feeling the effect of a dram of ardent spirits, 
and taking pride in his manhood, to challenge the crowd he hap- 
pened to be in, and it was seldom some one did not accept his 
challenge, when a fisticuff at once ensued. A man yet living, nar- 
rated a circumstance to the writer, illustrating in a high degree the 
spirit of the times. He was at a log-rolling when one of his asso- 
ciates began vaunting his powers. " I can tie your hands behind 
your back," said my informant. It was agreed that he might make 
the attempt. A rope was brought, and everything being ready, 
my informant, who was a large, powerful man, promptly knocked 
his man down and tied his hands behind him before he recovered. 
It was deemed a good joke. But the lawless element did not have 
it all their own way. In truth, the large majority of the people 
were law-abiding in all particulars. There were neighborhoods in 
which a personal encounter not only did not take place the year 
round, but in which no man lived who engaged therein at the elec- 
tions or musters. The truth is, a limited number of the people 



comprised the rowdy element that engaged in the most of the 
brawls. The fines constituted the seminary fund, and Thomas 
Calvin, a noted pugilist of the early days, used to say, he " carried 
up one corner of the county seminary." The repressing influence 
of the law was made to be felt from the beginning, while the senti- 
ment of the great majority of the people was unqualifiedly in favor 
of order. 

With the first comers came the Christian Church. John P. 
Barnett, who came to the county in 182 1, was a Baptist preacher, 
and finding others here of like faith, they organized in 1823 the 
first church in the county. Early in the history of Nineveh Town- 
ship, a Baptist Church, under the preaching of Mordecai Cole, 
was organized at the home of Daniel Mussulman; and when Rich- 
ardson Hensley moved into Hensley Township, he carried with 
him a Baptist faith, and a Baptist Church was soon planted on In- 
dian Creek. In 1824, the Presbyterian Church, the first in Frank- 
lin, was organized, and shortly after ■ the Presbyterian Church of 
Greenwood, and in 183 1, the Presbyterian Church of Hopewell, 
and in 1832, the Presbyterian Church of Shiloh in the western edge 
of the county. In 1823, the Rev. James Scott, an itinerant Metho- 
dist minister, traveling up White River and preaching to the set- 
tlers wherever he found them, came to the Bluffs, where he 
preached and ultimately organized the first Methodist Church in 
the county. 

In this review, the social life of the- pioneers deserves a word. 
Among the brightest pictures that have been handed down to us 
from their times, are those representing its social life, and many 
persons of to-day, led captive by them, long for the return of that 
social life, forgetful of the fact that by reason of changed condi- 
tions, it would be as much out of place now as would the return of 
the wild beasts that then inhabited the woods. The people in the 
beginning were dependent on each other. In sickness and in 
health, at home and abroad, they felt and realized this dependence. 
In sickness, the pioneer's neighbors volunteered to nurse him, and 
to plant or plow or harvest his corn, according to the season when 
his sickness came. If a doctor was required a neighbor volun- 
teered to go after him, and if the sick died, he well knew that his 
neighbors would volunteer to dig his grave and lay his body to rest, 
and most likely show kindness to his family after he was gone. 

The peculiar difficulties attending the labors of the pioneers re- 
quired the joining of forces. The men of the neighborhood had 
to unite to build their cabins and to roll their logs. It was quite 
common to swap work in order that the strength of two or more 
might be exerted to a common end. Even housewives not infre- 


quently found profit in this kind of combination. In corn planting 
time, families frequently exchanged work, and old and young would 
drop and cover corn side by side. In the harvest field, reapers, 
cradlers, and binders marched in phalanx across the fields of grain. 
Men were wont to " splice" teams when they went to market at a 
river town. Now, out of all this interdependence and association, 
came sociability. Men and women who are a great deal together 
are quite sure to grow to like each other, and to love each other's 

But other causes combined to promote sociability. The absence 
of newspapers and books promoted conversation. When the winter 
weather came and the fire was kindled in the wide-mouthed fire 
place, and sent its genial warmth to the remotest corners of the 
room, the tongues of those who sat around it were loosened. They 
had naught else to do, and so they talked to escape the pangs of their 
own inanition. The family circle was in truth the talking circle. 
And it was this love of conversation that led to the family visit- 
ing that was such a feature of the early times. During the seasons 
when the work was slack, neighbors visited each other till " bed- 
time," or longer, according to circumstances, and the visits were al- 
ways returned. 

The social habit manifested itself in divers ways. Saturday was 
a day on which men went to the towns, or other central place, to 
hear the news. They talked of their crops, of the incidents occur- 
ring in the various neighborhoods, and thus was established a habit 
that is yet observed, although the cause has long gone by. All 
over central and southern Indiana, men frequent the towns on Sat- 
urdays as on no other day. 




Schools — Early Legislative Acts in Relation to — Examin- 
ation and Qualifications of Early Teachers — Primitive 
Buildings and Methods — First Schools — List of Early 
Pedagogues — Later and More Improved Methods — Pro- 
visions of New Constitution — Present School Census — 
Flanklin College. 

pFj&OXGRESS of the United States, in the month of 
x^fcp April, 1819, passed an act to enable the people of the In- 
diana Territory, to form a state constitution and to organ- 
ize a state government. Five propositions were offered 
for the " free acceptance or rejection "' of the people, 
through their delegates in convention assembled, two of 
which related to learning. In the first it was proposed to 
grant the sixteenth section in every congressional town- 
ship " to the inhabitants of such township for the use of schools," 
and in the fourth, to reserve an entire township " for the use of a 
seminary of learning." To the everlasting honor of the members 
of the first constitutional convention of the state be it written, they 
accepted these propositions in a spirit as broad and liberal as that 
in which they were tendered. The constitution they framed pro- 
vided that all moneys realized from the sale of school lands should 
"remain a fund for the exclusive purpose of promoting the inter- 
est of literature and the sciences, and for the support of seminaries 
and public schools." And it was further provided that " It shall be 
the duty of the General Assembly, as soon as circumstances will 
permit, to provide by law for a general system of education, as- 
cending in a regular gradation from township schools to a state uni- 
versity, wherein tuition shall be gratis and equally open to all." 

Whatever may be said of the performance, the promise made 
by the new state was as liberal as the most zealous lover of learn- 
ing, of that early day, could have wished. The state stood com- 
mitted in her organic law to a free school system that should begin 
in the district school, and end in the university. But how utterly 
impossible it was to carry into immediate effect these commend- 
able resolutions. All of Indiana was a savage wilderness, save a 
narrow border along the southeastern, southern and southwestern 


boundaries of the state. The population was less by nearly four 
thousand than the population of Johnson, Shelbv and Bartholomew 
counties, at the time of the taking of the last census; and the cash 
value of all the property in the state was, doubtless, less than that 
within any one of the counties named, at the same time. The con- 
stitution itself wisely provided that "no lands granted for the use of 
schools" should be sold before 1820, the year in which the first 
settlers came to Johnson County. As a matter of fact, more were 
sold prior to 1828, at which time the first legislative act was passed, 
authorizing the sale. Prior to that time, the laws authorized the 
leasing of the school lands, and in some townships of the state, 
they never have been sold, but are still leased, and the proceeds 
turned into the school fund of the townships. 

It would be a useless task to present, even an epitome of the 
many school laws that were passed from the organization of N the 
state up to the time of the adoption of the present constitution, in 
1850, when a radical change in educational affairs was brought 
about. Whether these laws were wise or unwise, it would be hard 
to judge, save from a speculative stand-point, for the funds derived 
from the school revenue sources, were in general, so meager that 
the maintenance of a district school depended more upon the en- 
terprise of the people in nearly every case, than upon the law. 
Yet the Taws passed from time to time served one most excellent pur- 
pose; they pointed out a convenient line of action to the people 
who were desirous of maintaining schools, and gave a sanction to 
all their efforts. 

The first comprehensive school law was passed in 1824. It 
provided for three trustees in every school district, a feature that 
was kept on foot up to the time of the adoption of the new con- 
stitution. These trustees were given authority to examine teach- 
ers in reading, writing and arithmetic, the only studies mentioned 
in that law or in any succeeding, for many years. For thirteen 
years the district trustees were the school examiners, and we may 
well imagine the character of some of the examinations. Hardly 
one in a hundred may be said to have been fitted to conduct a 
school, let alone pass upon the qualifications of another before 
hand, to do the same thing. We may readily see the course such 
an examination would be apt to take if made at all. While it was 
not uncommon to meet with trustees who could neither read nor 
write, it seldom, if ever, happened that there was not one of the 
three, at least, who did not make some claims to elementary book 
knowledge. The candidate's hand-writing could be seen of all, 
and in the early days a full, round, smoothly flowing hand was 
more than half the accomplishment. It opened the store door to a 


clerkship for the ambitious youth ; it was pointed to as a master 
qualification in the candidate who was running for public office, and 
to the school-master it was deemed an invaluable acquisition. It 
is easy to see how the trustees would scan the candidate's chirog- 
raphy. They could do this and remain silent. Mentally, they 
could admire or criticise, and not subject themselves to criticism in 
turn. As to the rest, they talked with the candidate on various 
themes, judging of his general fitness for school teaching, from 
what he said. If they were- not book-learned, they were, at least, 
fair judges of men. They could give an estimate of the applicant's 
general intelligence, more or less satisfactory to themselves, and 
one which nearly always had the merit of satisfying their con- 

In 1837, the law was so changed that three county examiners 
were chosen to conduct examinations in lieu of the district trustees 
who were to be appointed by the circuit judge of the county. This 
system, with modification, principally affecting the appointing power, 
continued in vogue up to 1852. It was unquestionably a step up- 
ward. It afforded an opportunity of securing men, qualified to dis- 
charge the duty, which was a great deal. But such men were not 
always secured, if we 'may judge from contemporanious history. 
Barnabas C. Hobbs, a former superintendent of public instruction 
in this state, made application for a license to one of these county 
examiners. The only question asked was : " What is the product of 
25 centsby 25cents? " " We had then," says Mr. Hobbs, "no teach- 
ers' institutes, normal schools, nor ' best methods' by which nice mat- 
ters were determined, and precise definitions given. We were not as 
exact then as now. We had only Pike's arithmetic, which gave 
the sums and the rules. These were considered enough for that 
day. How could I tell the product of 25 cents by 25 cents, when 
such a problem could not be found in the book? The examiner 
thought it was 6% cents, but was not sure; I thought just as he 
did, but this looked too small to both of us. We discussed its 
merits for an hour or more, when he decided that he was sure I 
was qualified to teach school, and a first-class certificate was given 

The early laws provided for the erection of school-houses, but 
like every other public improvement of that day, the school house 
when made, represented the labor of the district applied to the ma- 
terial growing on the ground. Under the law the trustees were 
empowered to call out every " able bodied male person of the age 
of twenty-one or upwards, being a freeholder or householder, residing 
in the school district," one day in each week until the building was 
completed. Such person might, in lieu of work, pay in " plank, 


nails, glass or other materials," but if he failed to work or pay in 
materials, he suffered a fine of *37^ cents for each day lost. The 
law provided further that the school-house should be "eight feet 
between the floors, and at least one foot from the surface of the 
ground to the first floor, and finished in a manner calculated to ren- 
der comfortable the teacher and pupils, with a suitable number of 
seats, tables, lights, and everything necessary for the convenience 
of such school. These exceedingly general requirements were not 
always observed in the building of school-houses. All were not 
raised a foot above the earth, nor all eight foot from floor to ceil- 
ing, but so general was this last requirement observed in Johnson 
County, that the old school-houses, in general, bore strong resem- 
blance to each other on the outside. 

In the beginning the few houses erected were of the most 
primitive style of log cabin architecture. Indeed, some were little 
or no better than the hunter's camp. The first school-house built 
in the south half of White River Township^ was arranged for the 
fire to be kept Durning in the center of the earthen floor. A 
chimney built on four posts planted in the ground, about six feet 
apart, and rising 10 the roof, was intended to carry the smoke 
away. The benches were arranged on the four sides of the fire. 
Usually the chimney was placed in one end. One house in the 
south part of the county^ in very early times, was made without a 
window. It was lighted by the door and its very large chimney. 
As the children increased in a neighborhood, to a number sufficient 
to support a school, their fathers were quite sure to make provision 
for one. While they themselves were, in general, the most meag- 
erly educated, they, nevertheless, were anxious that their children 
should have good school advantages, and willingly they joined in 
providing school-houses. Whether made of round or hewed logs 
— whether eight feet between the floor and ceiling, or less, all 
school houses (save a few at the very first) had puncheon 'floors, 
capacious fire-places with mud and stick chimneys, long benches 
made of slabs or puncheons. Every house had a long window, 
made by cutting out a log the full length of one side or end of the 
house, beneath which window was the writing table. This, was 
made by laying a plank on pins, driven with an upward slant into 
the wall, or if a plank was not to be had, which was sometimes the 
case, by laying smoothly shaved riven boards thereon, or even 
smoothly shaved halves of logs. 

One of the greatest drawbacks to the efficiency of the pioneer 
schools, was the want of competent teachers. This want was felt 
in every county in the state with more or less severity. " The 
pioneer teachers were generally adventurers from the east, or from 


England, Scotland or Ireland, who sought temporary employment 
during winter while waiting for an opening for business," says 
Barnabas C. Hobbs. The southern states furnished their quota, 
and western Pennsylvania was not behind any section ot equal 
area in the number sent forth to become educators of the youth 
of the land. While there was one here and there of the early 
teachers who was well qualified for the work, the great majority, it 
must be admitted, were not. So loud were the complaints of the 
inefficiency of the school teachers throughout the state, that they 
reached .the ears of the governor. In the annual message of Gov- 
ernor Noble, in 1833, he thus calls the attention of the General 
Assembly to the subject: "The want of competent persons to in- 
struct in the township schools, is a cause of complaint in many sec- 
tions of the state, and it is to be regretted, that in emplo}*ing tran- 
sient persons from other states, containing but little qualifications or 
moral character, the profession is not in that repute it should be. 
Teachers permanently interested in the' institutions of the country, 
possessing a knowledge of the manners and customs of our extended 
population, and mingling with it, would be more calculated to ren- 
der essential service, and be better received than those who came 
in search of employment." And he proposes as a remedy for the 
evil the establishment of a seminary for the special training of our 
native teachers or the incorporation of the manual labor system 
with the preparatory department of the Indiana College at Bloom- 

All sorts of teachers were employed in Johnson County. There 
was the " one-eyed teacher "; the " one-legged teacher"; the " lame 
teacher" ; the " single-handed teacher " ; the teacher who had," fits ;" 
the teacher who had been educated for the ministry, but owing to 
his habits of hard drink had turned pedagogue ; the teacher who got 
drunk on Saturday and whipped the entire school on Monday. 
Some are remembered for the excellence of their teaching, and 
some for their rigorous government. Some are remembered for 
their good scholarship and some for their incompetency. As late 
as 1848, teachers were employed in Johnson County whose license 
certified that they could teach arithmetic to the " Single Rule of 
Three." While the curriculum of studies was confined mainly to 
reading, writing and arithmetic, there were schools wherein no 
book was used but the spelling book. There were schools taught 
by teachers who did not claim to be able to teach anything beyond 
spelling, reading and writing. One such- was taught by John 
Pruner in the northwest corner school house of Union Township. 
Pruner taught two or three terms in succession, and proved himself 
an acceptable and popular teacher. The children spelled and read 


and wrote in accordance with the custom of the schools of the times. 
It came to pass, however, that some of his students wanted to 
study arithmetic, and there came a young man to the neighborhood, 
Abram Aten, who claimed to be able to teach it. He offered him- 
self as a candidate for the school against Pruner, and there was at 
once a great commotion in the neighborhood. Should the popular 
Pruner be thrown overboard to make room for a man who could 
cipher? was the all-absorbing question. A school meeting was held 
and the matter was thoroughly canvassed. Nothing could be said 
against the character of either candidate, and so the question was 
debated upon the square issue of arithmetic or no arithmetic. 
Fiery speeches were made extolling reading and writing and John 
Pruner on the one side, and reading, writing and arithmetic and the 
untried man on the other. A great deal of feeling was evinced, 
and it looked at one time as if the district would be rent assunder. 
On taking the vote, those in favor of the arithmetic carried the day 
by two or three majority, and Aten was given the school. 
Thomas Lynam was a popular pioneer teacher, but he made no 
pretense to a knowledge of arithmetic. One of his pupils, A. B. 
Hunter, ciphered through the arithmetic without any assistance 
from his teacher. 

One of the curious chapters of the times, is the low wages paid 
for all manner of intellectual labor. The governor of the state re- 
ceived $1,000 per year, a supreme judge and a judge of the circuit 
court each $700, a member of the General Assembly drew $2 per 
day, and legislated on Christmas and New Year's days the same as 
on any others, except when they happened to fall on Sunday. 
Salaries of officers were even less in some of the eastern states. 
The governor of Vermont received $750 per annum for his ser- 
vices, the secretary of state $450, and the treasurer $400. Minis- 
ters, well educated, and of most excellent natural abilities, preached 
the year round for $300 or less; nay, the "Rev. Allen Wiley, a 
man of varied learning, deep in theology, strong in faith, and full 
of the Holy Ghost, received that year (1830) as his portion of the 
sum total, $20. My colleague, Rev. Amos Sparks, a most unique 
man, full of goon common sense, of marked eloquence and power 
in the pulpit, and popular with the people, received for his portion, 
being a married man with several children, $i75> a P ar ^ °^ which 
was paid in dicker."* An unmarried circuit rider of the times, 
who was paid $100 per year, was deemed to have been paid a good 

Small salaries were likewise the rule with teachers. The Rev. 
B. R. Hall, the first principal of the Indiana Seminary, at 

* Early Methodism in Indiana, p. 19. 


Bloomington, which was the state school, received a salary of 
$250 per year. He was elected in 1823, and when two years 
after, the board of trustees elected John M. Harney to the chair 
of mathematics and philosophy, one applicant informed the board 
by letter that he was "educated in England, and would accept the 
situation at a salary of $250 and find his own family." For a 
great many years the pay of teachers was in general, kept at the 
lowest notch. The first school taught in Henslev Township, was 
by Jesse Titus, a "lame school-master," at $1.00 per scholar. This 
was in the winter of 1826-27. He could not have had over nine- 
teen scholars, which would reduce his compensation to $6.00 per 
month. Out of that he paid his board, which cost him $1 per 
month. The patrons of his school were all poor men, but anxious 
to afford means for the education of their children. John Stevens 
had three to educate, and as an inducement to Titus to teach the 
school, he proffered to set off the board against their tuition, and it 
was done. Ten dollars and $12 per month was quite frequently paid 
to teachers in Johnson County during the earlv days. Indeed, a sub- 
scription school of twenty-five scholars, at $1.50 per scholar, was 
long considered a well-paying school. The winter schools might 
go over this, butfhe few summer schools taught, so often fell below, 
that it was quite customarv for the teacher to "board around," in 
order to make up the loss as nearly as he could. 

In 1844, Anderson B. Hunter taught a school in Waggoner's 
smoke house, which had been fixed up for the occasion, for $8 per 
month, and boarded himself. In the spring of 1846, he taught for 
$14 per month, paying for his board 50 cents per week. A like 
condition of things prevailed elsewhere in the state. In Orange 
Countv, a subscription school was taught at " three bits per pupil 
for three months." In 1845, schools were taught in that county at 
$10 per month. Nor was this peculiar to Indiana alone. In Mas- 
sachusetts the school system had reached such a stage of develop- 
ment by the year the first settlers came to Johnson County, that 
the school-districts had been laid off in such a manner that " no 
scholar is obliged to walk further than three-fourths of a mile from 
the extremity to the center of the district where the school is situ- 
ated." Public schools were kept open from three to four months 
each winter, and a master was paid " from $10 to $20 per month," 
while a mistress for a summer school was paid " from $5 to $6 per 
month."* The wages paid to teachers during the formation period 
of our state's history are believed to have been in the main up to 
the level of the wages paid in most of the other states during the 
same period. 

* Nile's Register, vol. 20, p. 108. 


It is much to be regretted that we have no record of the time 
when the earlier schools of the county were opened. It would 
seem that the time has passed when the information can be supple- 
mented by an appeal to human memory. No other query calls 
out such a diversity of answers as the one relating to the time and 
place of the first schools. Inasmuch as a considerable settlement 
was established on the Blue River, before at an)- other point, it 
seems reasonable to suppose that the first school in the county 
was opened in that neighborhood. In this place a reference will be 
made to some of the earlier schools of which we have knowledge, 
but without any attempt at a chronological arrangements of them. 

In White River Township I have encountered three first schools. 
It is claimed that a school w r as taught somewhere in the south half 
of the township, in a log school-house, in w r hich the fire was built 
in the center of the dirt floor. The name of the teacher is not 
given. It is very certain that Mrs. Samuel Parks, a widow, taught 
a school in her own house, sometime after her husband's death, 
which occurred in August, 1825. By some, hers is said to have 
been the first school in the township. In very early times a double 
log cabin stood on the Bluff road between the bluffs and the pres- 
ent site of Brownstown. One John Collins, a school-master, lived 
in one of the rooms, and taught a school in the other, as early as 
1826. It is remembered of him that he owned the land on which 
the house stood, and at play-time he made the school children 
" pick trash." The labor of the children at the noon hour in the 
clearing may have been understood beforehand. I remember a 
school which run four days in the week, nor was he required to 
call books before 9 o'clock in the morning. Fridays as w r ell as 
Saturdays the teacher gave to the cultivation of his corn. Three 
of the largest boys of the school, all belonging to the same family, 
by some sort of an arrangement between the father and teacher, 
worked in the latter's clearing of mornings, and helped him plant his 
corn. They thus earned the money to buy their books and possi- 
bly paid a part or all the schooling of the family for that term. 
They had a walk of two miles to the master's clearing, and were 
always on the ground by sun up. I yet remember the great store 
they set by their bright new Eclectic Readers. 

A like uncertainty as to the first school taught, we encounter 
on entering Union Township. William Bond, about 1832, taught 
a summer school in the neighborhood of the present site of Union 
village. About the same time, a pole cabin was built for a~school- 
house, on the west side of George Kerlin's farm, on the Three 
Notched Line Road, in which Jeremiah Callahan opened the first 
school. In Hensley Township there were three first schools, but 


the weight of evidence seems to point to the fact that in the winter 
of 1826-7, Jesse Titus taught the first school. The log house in 
which the school was taught was erected near the present Friend- 
ship Church site, and was 16x18 feet, and fronted south. A log 
for a window was cut out at the west end, and the sash was filled with 
" paper glass." The wide-throated chimney was in the east end, 
and under the long window, logs split into halves, and smoothed to 
a face, were mounted on a sort of trestle work for a writing table. 
The following is the roster of children that attended that first 
school: Ephraim Harrell, Gideon and Betsy Stevens, Betsy Har- 
rell, Averv, Godfrev, Elizabeth and Xancy Chase; Abram, Daniel, 
Permelia and Anna Heethers; Polly, Bloomfield, Roland and 
Richard Hensley; Milford, Bluford and William Richardson. The 
American Spelling Book was used in that school, and the English 
First Reader. Toward the close of the school, six or seven of the 
scholars were furnished with copy books, and set to making " pot 
hooks and hangers." The succeeding winter, Samuel B. Elkins 
taught in the same house, and by some this was thought to have 
been the first school. Elkins is said not to have been " very good 
in figures, but wrote an excellent hand, and was a good reader and 
spelled well," and above all, was a " good hand with young chil- 

In 1824, Aaron Dunham moved from Brown County, Ohio, to 
the Nineveh neighborhood, in which there were living at the time, 
twelve families. He was an educated man for his time, being a 
good mathematician and a good grammarian. I have seen speci- 
mens of his hand writing among the files of the Circuit Court, and 
I know that he wrote an excellent hand. In November of this year, 
Dunham came to open a school in a log cabin, formerly lived in by 
William Strain, about one-fourth of a mile northeast of Williams- 
burg. This house was furnished with a puncheon floor, split log 
benches, greased paper windows and a hewed log writing table, 
resting on stakes driven into the earth. The teacher was paid $40 
for a three months' school. About twenty scholars attended, of 
whom Jeremiah Woodruff, then twelve years old, and still living, 
was one. One of the girls, a Miss Dunham, studied grammar, and 
young Jeremiah tried it for a day, but his father, Joab Woodruff, 
who was the leading man in the community, pronouncing grammar 
nonsense, the boy abandoned it. About twenty scholars attended that 
school, the following of whom are remembered, viz.: the brothers, 
Jeremiah, William and Nelson Woodruff, a Miss Dunham, Benjamin 
Crews' three boys, David Twet's two children, William Strain's 
two, and Daniel Pritchard*s two. Mr. Dunham continued to teach 


for many years in Nineveh Township with the approbation of his 
patrons, and the loving remembrance of his pupils. 

In 1826, Benjamin Baily taught a school close to the Vicker- 
man place in the same township. This school was in a cabin on a 
dirt floor. At a very early day a school was opened not far from 
the present site of Amity, by James Hemaner, who was succeeded 
the next year by one named McClosky. George Adams, yet liv- 
ing, attended both those schools and still has the " ciphering book " 
he wrote then. He used Bennett's arithmetic, and according to the 
custom of the times he transferred the examples to a copy book to- 
gether with the processes employed in solving them. In 1828, 
Elzy Mathes taught in the Price school-house, three miles north 
of Edinburg, a subscription school of three months at $1 per 
scholar. During his term the deer annoyed him a great deal by 
coming to lick during school hours in the outside chimney corners 
of his school-house. The children would give attention to the ani- 
mals at the expense of their lessons. Mathes secured two planks 
which he so arranged, that by pulling a string that was brought 
over to his seat in the school house, as to fall with a great clatter 
and bang. Not long afterward the deer, a buck and a doe came, 
and Mathes enjoining silence, pulled the string and down came the 
planks with a mighty racket and away went the deer never to re- 
turn. The master and his school went out and were amazed at the 
great leap the terrified buck had taken. It was over twenty feet. 
The deer never after, were a source of disturbance to his school, 
and as far as I have heard, his was the only school in the county 
ever disturbed by them. Austin Shipp, the first student from John- 
son County, who ever attended the Indiana Seminary at Blooming- 
ton, " taught in 1830, in an old cabin on the Marshal farm three 
miles northwest of Edinburg." A log school-house stood on the 
Maux Ferry road, a short distance south of the present site of 
Furnas' mill, in which Thomas Alexander taught during the winter 
of 1827-8. 

Coming to Franklin Township, we find that the first schools 
were held in the log court house. A cloud of uncertainty hangs 
over them. Dr. Pierson Murphy is known to have taught at an 
early period in the history of the town, but whether he was the 
first may be doubted. Aaron LeGrange attended his school seven- 
teen days, which he says must have been about 1825. " I used 
Pike's arithmetic. Our other books were anything we could get. 
I remember we had Dilworth's spelling book." In the winter of 
1829-30, Thomas Graham is known to have taught in the log 
court house. John Tracy, a young man of twenty-one years, 


attended, walking from his father's house, a distance of five or six 
miles. Mr. Tracy studied arithmetic. Gilderov Hicks, who moved 
to the town in 1834 an ^ began the practice of law, wh'ich he suc- 
cessfully pursued for over twenty years, turned aside occasionally 
during the first years and taught school. Another who is remem- 
bered to have taught in the town schools during the earlier years, 
was William G. Shellady. " The first school between Franklin and 
Martinsville " was at the present site of the Mount Pleasant Church — 
the Byers neighborhood. Joseph Ringland was the teacher, and 
after him came Henry Drury, and then a man bv the name of 

In September, 1825, Thomas Henderson moved from Ken- 
tucky, and settled at Big Spring, now Hopewell. His first inquiry 
was for a tract of land to enter, on which was a site suitable for a 
school house, a church and a grave-yard, and he succeeded in be- 
coming the owner of the tract of land on which these indispensable 
adjuncts to every good neighborhood were subsequently located. 
In 1829, a hewed log house, 20x30 feet, was erected, the floor and 
ceiling of which were laid with whip-sawed lumber. For a few 
years this building was used as a church, and for many as a school 
house. The first school taught in that house was the same year of 
its erection, by John R. Smock. He taught two winters out of 
three, one of which he boarded with Simon Covert, at 50 cents 
per week. Nancy Henderson taught the intervening winter. In 
1833, the people of the neighborhood organized an educational so- 
ciety, which, by the terms of the compact, was to continue for five 
years, during which two terms per year of five months each were to 
be taught, and the patrons were to pay $1.25 per scholar, per term. 
This society was kept on foot for three years, during which the 
school house doors were kept open for ten months of each year. 
Two and a half years Samuel Demaree, a Kentucky school-mas- 
ter taught, and after him came a Mr. Ayers, who finished the last 
of the three years. 

The first school in Pleasant Township was in the Smock neigh- 
borhood, at Greenwood. The date is uncertain, but it is believed 
to have been as earlv as 1825. William S. Holman, since become 
so celebrated as a statesman and politician, is remembered to have 
taught one or more terms of school in the Greenwood school while 
a student in the Baptist Institute in Franklin. Clark Township was 
late in being peopled, but it is said that a school was taught therein 
well up toward the north side, as early as 1828; but of it little is 
now remembered. 

Thus far have I adverted to some of the early schools of the 
county, and it now remains to give a list of such of the early 


teachers as have been remembered by their old pupils. This list 
is necessarily incomplete, because of the fallibility of memory. 
Many of these persons taught in more than one school house and 
township, and no attempt will be given to localize them. It is as 
follows: William Bond, John L. Jones, Sr., Henry Drury, Jere- 
miah Callahan, Henry Banta, John L. Jones, Jr., Matthew Owens, 
Charles Disbrow, David V. Demaree, Washington Miller, Asa B. 
Nay, Joseph Raynor, William Lane, Louis Shouse, John Roberts, 
Thomas Graham, Piersen Murphy, Gabriel M. Overstreet, A. D. 
Whitesides, John Slater, A. B. Hunter, Elijah Harrell, Andrew 
Robe, Franklin Hardin, Jacob Fishback, Hiram Jackson, D. Loper, 
Joseph Ringland, William F. Johns, Hugh Smiley, Sebastian C. 
Fox, Joshua Eccles, Nelson Brock, Elizabeth Sutton, William 
Mitchell, Andrew Robe, James Collins, James Abbett, Samuel 
Hare, Elisha Hardin, James Wishard, David Todd, Thomas Alex- 
ander, Thomas Lynam, E. W. Morgan, Zalmon Disbrow, A. B. 
Hunter, William Cotton, James Mullikin, William Jones, Peter H. 

Banta, Miss West, Getty, Malcom McLean, William Allen, 

Peyton B. Culver, Samuel McClain, John F. Peggs, John Colvin, 
John Mathes, James Prather, John Abbey, Henry Woodard, 

Squire O. W. Garrett, Gaines, Ephraim Hewitt, William 

Irwin, William Keaton, Henry House, Cary Slack, Samuel Griffith 
and Willet Tyler. 

During the first fifteen years of the county's history, school 
houses were located with reference to the accomodation of neighbor- 
hoods, [solely. As the county became settled other considera- 
tions began to rule. From 1835 to 1840, the county was laid off 
into school districts, so as to give about five to each congressional 
township. White River, which is a third larger in area than a con- 
gressional township, was laid off into six school districts, and pro- 
vided with as many school houses. The Lyons school house was 
in the northeast corner, and the Glenn, in the northwest. The 
Hughes school house was toward the east side, not far from the 
center thereof, while the Low occupied a like position on the 
west side. The Dunn school house was in the southwest corner, 
while another stood over toward the southeast. In Union Township 
there were five houses, one near the center of the township and one 
in each corner. Something like this order prevailed in all the 

It will thus be seen that the division was on a geographical 
basis, of one house to from seven to nine square miles territory, 
and that some school children would necessarily have long roads to 
travel. Two, and even three miles were not infrequently traveled, 
night and morning, by the little folk of the early day. And when 

schools. 373 

we remember that the school paths often led through the gloomy 
woods the greater part of the way, we may imagine something of 
the courage of both parents who sent, and of the pupils who went, 
to the early schools. One man remembers that he went a mile 
through an unbroken wood. He was eight years old, and used to 
run every step to and from the school-house, fearing lest a bear 
might overtake him. Another says, that he and his little brother 
one morning actually encountered a bear on their way to school, and 
that although it fled, they were ever after so afraid that they ran 
from home to school and cowered in a corner if they were the first 
comers, until others arrived. Two young girls, the daughters of 
Peter Whitenack, met a bear on the way to the Hopewell school 
one morning a little to the east of what is now known as the Don- 
nell hill, and it disputed the path with them by " setting up in it." 
The preciptancy with which they turned and fled is easier to im- 
agine than describe. When the man with a gun arrived the bear 
had gone. 

There were no teachers' institutes, no normals, no training 
schools in those days. There were no books to be had on peda- 
gogics. No " best methods " were inculcated. Every teacher 
was left to his own way of doing things in the school-room. Of 
course there was great variety in the manner of teaching adopted. 
Here were teachers from the Carolinas, from Virginia, from Ken- 
tucky, Ohio, Pennsvlvania, New England, Old England, Ireland 
and Scotland. Each had his way — a way learned in the country 
he came from. The dissimilarity of methods, however, was usually 
seen in minor matters. In the graver phases of school life, the 
dissimilarities usually disappeared. 

A pre-requisite to successful teaching always has been, and al- 
ways will be, an ability to govern. In the early days government 
occupied a higher place in the teacher's qualifications than it does 
in this. In whatever else he lacked he must not in this. It was 
for him to make his scholars mind, and the entire catalogue of pun- 
ishments were in general at his disposal. The pioneers were a 
sturdy, thorough-going set of men and women, who were seldom 
content with any half-way measures. The same may be said of 
their children, and it may be doubted whether they would have 
entertained a feeling of respect for a teacher who would not on oc- 
casion, inflict corporal punishment with savage severity. Be this 
as it may, the early school-masters ruled w r ith a rod of iron. It was 
the custom to whip on the slightest provocation, and now and then 
for no provocation at all. An early teacher in Blue River Town- 
ship would sometimes drink to a state of intoxication on Satur- 
day. On Monday morning he would reach the school-house all 


broken up, and sometimes he would switch the entire school before 
the noon hour. But there were not many drunken teachers employed 
in Johnson County, and the severest teachers were among the most 

Sebastian Fox, an early teacher in the northern part of the 
county, stood at the very head of those who whipped with the 
greatest severity. He kept in the school room a green, tough 
switch, about six feet long, and he invariably took off his coat and 
threw it on one of the joists overhead, before administering his 
punishment. He whipped not only for violations of school rules, 
but he whipped for laziness and natural dullness. He frequently 
whipped till the "red streaks could be seen on a boy's back through 
his shirt." He carried his punishments to such a pitch, that his 
school at last revolted, and the trustees had to be sent for. Ed- 
ward Keene was a young man, almost grown, whom he very much 
disliked, and had, on more than one occasion, mercilessly whipped, 
as Edward thought, without sufficient cause. One day the boy did 
something that inflamed the master, who told him he must take a 
whipping or leave school. To the big boy or girl the alternative 
of leaving school or taking a whipping was always given in those 
days. Keene left, but after consulting with a couple of his mates, 
he concluded to return the next da)'. On his arrival, the school- 
master at once pulled off his coat and took down his best switch. 
" Will you step out and take your whipping," said he. " Yes, if you 
are able to give it," bravely answered young Keene. At that point, 
his two big school-mates, William H. Wishard and Washington 
Culver, arose, and proposed to help him out. The whipping was 
put off and the trustees were sent for, to patch up a peace. 

Not a few instances occurred in the county, in the early days, of 
the larger pupils of the school being driven to open rebellion by the 
severity of their teachers. Such an occurrence once took place 
at the Hurricane school-house. A teacher named Cottingham, 
whipped with a six foot switch ferociously. One day he undertook 
to make a stubborn boy cry, and lashed him until the school rose 
en masse and demanded a cessation. In Union Township, a Cana- 
dian by the name of Bradley, once taught. He undertook to intro- 
duce a new punishment, by striking the scholars with a rule on the 
open palm of the hand, and on the bunched end of the fingers. 
His punishments seemed to the eyes of the larger pupils inhuman, 
and once when about to beat a little boy on the finger nails, tlie big 
boys interfered. They told him he might whip the little one on 
the back and they would say nothing, but he could not beat the ends 
of his fingers; and Bradley wisely forbore to ever after whip, save 
in the orthodox way. 

schools. 375 

Sometimes the school-master's discipline took a humorous turn. 
On one occasion, Andrew Rabe, who was an exceedingly strict 
school-master, but a very popular one nevertheless, went to his 
school and discovered that something had been going on out of the 
usual order, but what, he could not divine. At the noon hour he 
learned that two of the big boys had fought that morning, and that 
one of them had received a bloody nose. Immediately, on " calling 
books," the teacher, in accordance with his custom, impanelled a 
jury and proceeded to try the accused. Three big boys were 
selected to try the case who were acceptable to the accused. The 
teacher sat as judge and prosecutor, and saw that the evidence 
was properly introduced. But the jury hung. Two of the jurors 
voted guilty, affixing the proper punishment, but the third stood 
out for mercy. He insisted upon a verdict of "not guilty," but was 
willing to affix to it, "if they ever do it. again, each to have twenty- 
five lashes well laid on." 

The judge and prosecutor was equal to the occasion. There 
could be no failure of justice in his court because of a stubborn 
juryman, and so without further ceremony he was set aside and 
another put in his place. The new man was a brother of one of 
the accused, but kinship was not a disqualification in that court. 
The parties on trial, however, were consulted, and agreed to the 
substitution, and the record was thus kept straight. Thereupon 
the new jury retired, and promptly returned a verdict of guilty, 
with " five good licks apiece." The inevitable question followed: 
" Will you take your whipping or leave school? " One of the par- 
ties, now a venerable man, who has for many years wisely adminis- 
tered the law as a justice of the peace in his neighborhood, after a 
few moments' thought, said he could not afford to leave school just 
then, and gave his back to his master's use. Rabe was a good 
whipper, and it is said he got all the good there was to be had in 
the five strokes on that occasion. Turning to the next victim he 
put the same question of going or staying. This young man was 
not so sure. His mind was not made up. He did not much like to 
leave school, but he liked less to take the whipping. He had about 
made up his mind to leave, when the thought occurred, " What 
will father say?" " Go," said he to that very brother who had sat 
as a juror and approved the sentence, "go and see what father 
says." He went, and presently returned with these words : " Father 
says if you come home he will give you the all-firedest licking you 
ever had." That settled it. He, too, stood out on the floor and 
let Andrew Rabe tip-toe it on five of his best, and there was no 
more fighting in that school. 

But whipping on the back with a switch, and on the hands and 


fingers with a rule, were not all the punishments inflicted. The 
early school-masters were ingenious in devising novel modes of 
torture for their children. One school-master habitually pulled the 
ears of refractory pupils. Sometimes one ear, after a manipula- 
tion at his hands, would puff up to double its natural size. The 
"dunce block" and the "fool's cap," were in every school. Some 
teachers kept a " leather spectacles." I remember to have seen 
two boys alternately tie on each other the "leather specs," in 
the meanwhile dancing and crying in rage. I once saw a teacher 
incarcerate quite a big girl for some mischief, "in the hole under 
the floor." I will never forget how he pushed her fingers off the 
unmoved puncheons at the sides, when he closed the lid over her. 
Making a pupil stand in the corner or by the side of the teacher, 
or on one leg, were favorite modes. If a boy was particularly 
bashful (which was not often the case) he might be seated between a 
couple of girls with admirable effect. " Bringing up the switch" 
was another mode. An idle child would be startled out of a doze 
by the switch dropping at his feet. "Bring up the switch!" would 
be the stern command, and there was no escape. The idler must 
carry the evidence of his subjection to the master, in the presence 
of the whole school. 

How often have I seen a teacher rush up to an idler, or mis- 
chief-maker, and strike him over the back and shoulders with all 
his might and main. Boxing a child's ears with a closed book or 
the open hand was quite common with some. I remember once an 
edition of the elementary spelling book, bound in wooden backs. 
The wood was exceedingly thin, of course, and split so easily that 
a blow with a book over a child's head would shatter the back into 
splinters. After the backs of two or three books had been ruined 
by the teacher, the children made such an outcry over the mutila- 
tion, that the teacher ceased their use altogether as instruments of 
punishment. I have seen teachers kick their pupils; have seen 
them attach split quills to their noses; bumb their heads together, 
and one old teacher kept a short rod of whalebone, which had the 
merit of never wearing out. 

In these days teachers were careful to seat the boys and girls 
on different sides of the house. This was the custom at church and 
at the dinner tables. In no case were the school children to sit to- 
gether, except for punishment. Nor were they allowed to play 
together. I remember one school-master who was so strict in this 
particular that he established an east and west line, which ran 
from the spring through the middle of the school-house, on the 
west side of which, in the house, the girls sat, and out of doors 
they played. On the east side, within, the boys sat, and without, 


played, and the rule was not deemed an unreasonable one by his 
pupils. It was the custom in that school, as in a good many others, 
throughout the county, for the children to be seated in the order 
of their arrival in the morning. The first arrival sat at what the 
teacher chose to call the head. The next arrival sat next to him, 
and so on in order to the last. The only advantage to the scholar 
arriving first, was that he recited his lesson first. There were few 
classes, save the spelling class, in the old schools. In the beginning, 
Dilvvorth's spelling book was used, and after that came " Webster's 
American Spelling Book," and that in time was succeeded by the 
" Elementary Spelling Book" by the same author, which held the 
field against all rivals for more than twenty-five years. The old 
school-masters placed great stress on spelling. Twice a day the 
whole school stood up and spelled " for head." A half-day in 
every week was given to the spelling match. Night spelling 
schools were of frequent occurrence. Every scholar was kept ham- 
mering away at the spelling book as long as he went to school, and 
there were few schools in which one or more pupils had not the 
book by heart. The words in the elementary spelling book were 
written rythmically, and it was no hard matter to commit by rote 
whole columns of words. This book was used as a reader also. 
In some schools, after a pupil had learned to spell sufficiently well, 
he was set to pronouncing the words in the book at sight. After 
he was able to readily pronounce all the words in the book, he was 
deemed sufficiently advanced to begin reading. The elementary 
spelling book served the purpose of reader. 

" She fed the old hen. 

The old hen was fed x by her. 

See how the hen can run." 
This was the first lesson. After the book had been read 
through a half dozen times, another was in demand. There were 
few, or no, readers, accessible. A few copies of the "English 
reader," or of the " Columbian," might be had, but in general, such 
books as could be picked up in the neighborhood, were used. The 
" Life of Marion" was not an uncommon school reading-book in 
those days. Histories, the Pilgrim's Progress, "dream books," 
and even sermon books, were used. The Bible and the Testament 
were very common. About 1835, B. P. Emerson's readers came 
into use, and his " third class reader " was often met with in the 
schools of the county. About five years after, McGuffey's Eclec- 
tic series appeared, and ultimately occupied the field, to the ex- 
clusion of all others. The introduction of the eclectic series 
marked an era in the schools of the county, and they were of in- 
calculable advantage to the people of the western country. 


It was the custom in those days for a pupil to study one thing at 
a time. I have already adverted to the practice with regard to the 
spelling book. The pupil was kept in that till he could pronounce 
all the words it contained, at sight. He might have actually learned 
in the meantime to read fairly well, but the teacher would ignore 
his acquirement. He must go through the spelling book in the 
manner I have indicated. After that he was set to reading, and 
thence on, that was his chief study. He continued to spell, it is 
true, as long as he went to school, but until he finished his 
course in reading, his two or four lessons a day were reading 
lessons. During the interval his teacher might consent for him 
to take a copy book to school and learn to write. Learning to 
write was a very simple exercise in that day. The copy book con- 
sisted of a few sheets of foolscap sewed together. The teacher 
made and mended all the pens. This work he usually did while 
hearing a boy or girl read a lesson. The pen made, he wrote a line 
of pot hooks, or a, b, g's, or a sentence for the pupil to reproduce, 
on the lines below. Whenever, in the judgment of the teacher, the 
scholar could read and write well enough, he was permitted to fetch 
an arithmetic and slate, and begin to cipher. Pike's Arithmetic 
was the one generally used in the beginning. This book consisted 
of "sums" and "rules." There were other arithmetics to be met 
with, however. I have heard of Dilworth's, and Smiley's, and 
Bennett's, as being in use. There were few definitions, and no 
methods given. The scholars recited no lessons in arithmetic, no 
matter what book he used. He committed the rules and multipli- 
cation table, and " worked the sums." When he failed to get the 
true answer, he went to the teacher, who " worked the sum " for 
him, and if not too busy, explained the process. A bright boy 
might study arithmetic for weeks, and the teacher never give him 
a word of instruction. 

The practice of pursuing one study at a time doubtless had its 
advantages. The course of studies was so limited that it was well 
for a scholar to have one fairly learned before beginning another. 
The same plan was pursued in the only college in the state. In 
1828, Doctor Andrew Wylie was elected president of the Indiana 
College at Bloomington, and into that institution the learned Doctor 
introduced a like practice. The student therein studied languages 
and nothing else, until he had completed the language course;, 
mathematics and nothing else, until he had completed the mathe- 
matical course, and so on. But the plan has long since given way 
in both college and common schools to what is now considered the 
better one of " mixed courses of studies." Whatever the faults of 
the modern method, the old was faulty in this : scholars were some- 

schools. 379 

times kept back to an unwonted degree. The writer could read 
so as "to make sense of his reading" before his teacher allowed 
him to read in school; he could write a hand that could be read, and 
read writing readily before his teacher allowed him to write after 
a copy in school; he learned to read numerals, add, subtract, mul- 
tiply and divide in short division before his teacher would recognize 
his slate. Indeed, he ciphered in school for two weeks before his 
teacher showed him any attention. And there were many others 
who in some sort went through a Kke experience. 

A picture of the early school days in the county would be in- 
complete without an allusion to the efforts of the old masters to 
teach good manners. There was a vast deal of bowing and cour- 
tesying (crutcheying it was called) in the early days. Every boy 
had to doff his cap and bow to the assembled school, oh entering 
in the morning, and every girl had to make her courtesy. In some 
schools every pupil, on re-entering the .school-room after going out, 
had to go through a like ceremony. In some, the children were 
required, on the entrance of a visitor, to rise to their feet and salute 
him by bow and "crutchey." Some teachers, on entering the 
school-room, would bow to their scholars, thus teaching them by 
example. John R. Smock, an old-time pedagogue, before dismiss- 
ing school in the afternoon, had his scholars collect their belongings 
and march out of the school-house, and form in line with the tallest 
at the head, and by his side, the next tallest, and so on, down to 
the very least, who stood at the foot, when they awaited his com- 
ing to the door. While the line was forming, he covered the fire 
with ashes and righted the room, after which he appeared at the 
door, when all hats, including his own, were doffed, and after an in- 
terchange of formal bows and "crutchies," the little folks broke ranks 
and scattered for home. It is remembered that one very cold 
evening a big boy refusing to wait for the lire to be covered and 
the bowing to be done, left for home. The next morning the 
teacher called him out and inflicted such a severe punishment that, 
no matter how inclement the weather, he never after failed to re- 
turn his master's bow from his place in the line. 

•It was the rule in those days for all scholars to be "loud 
scholars." The silent schools were few and far between. The 
odds in the argument were believed to be in favor of the loud 
school. The man who can carry on a train of abstract thought, 
amidst noise and confusion, has a great advantage over one who 
must seek privacy and quiet. The business man must learn the 
secret, and so must the lawyer. All the old school-masters had it. 
Franklin Hardin, it is said" by his old pupils, " could hear a class 
recite, work a sum in arithmetic and keep one eye on the school, 


all at one time." Charles Disbrow could hear a class, make a pen, 
and watch the school at once. " A celebrated Scotch teacher, 
Alexander Kinmont, of Cincinnati, as late as 1837, would conduct 
a school by no other method. He claimed that it is the practical, 
philosophical system, by which boys can be trained for business on 
a steam-boat, wharf, or any other place." And so the schools in 
Johnson County were very generally loud schools. The boys 
and girls spelled and read oftentimes at the tops of their voices, and in 
favorable days the noise of their lesson-getting could be heard 
half a mile off. 1 

How incomplete this review would be without some reference 
to the school sports of the pioneer days. The boys played with a 
dash and vim worthy of imitation yet. No half-acre or acre school 
lots bounded their play .grounds, for hardly a school-house that did 
not stand in an unenclosed woodland of from forty to many hun- 
dreds of acres in extent. Every sport was calculated to call for the 
utmost endeavor of the player. The races run in " prisoner's 
base," sometimes covered railes. There was " cap ball " for the 
little boys — a game of short, quick dashes, and admitting of bois- 
terous talking and hallooing by all at once. The leading games 
for the larger boys were " cat," " town-ball " and " bull-pen." The 
first two were played with the bat and ball, and out of the second 
has come our modern base ball. The third, " bull-pen," was the 
best pioneer game. It had an element suggestive of warfare in it. 
To become a proficient player in " bull-pen," required a quick eye, 
physical activity, speed on foot, good bottom, manly courage, good 
throwing powers, quick perception, good judgment, and last, but 
not least, the ability to maintain one's position in the innumerable 
arguments that were sure to arise in the course of the game, for 
there were no umpires in those days. How earnestly the pioneer 
boys would debate questions on the play ground, and how apt were 
they to come to blows before a conclusion was reached. The 
moral sentiment of the country took high ground in the early day 
against turbulence, and the teachers labored to repress it among 
their scholars. The fathers and teachers, too, would fight on small 
provocation, but every effort was made to repress the tendency 
among the boys, but, in spite of it all, the boys were quite often as 
quick to assert their manhood as the testiest father or school-master 
in the county. The usual thing when a fight took place in school, 
was for the teacher to whip both combatants by way of punish- 
ment, but there were instances when whipping carried with it no 
repressing tendency. A Washington County school-master had 
two boys who, disliking each other, often fought to the teacher's 
great annoyance, but without a decisive victory attending the 


banner of either. Both had been punished time and again by the 
teacher without avail. The usual fight occurring one day, the 
teacher bethought him of a new scheme. He cut a bundle of 
good switches, and bade the boys stand up in the school-room and 
switch each other till one cried " enough " ! The temper of the lads 
was yet up, arid they were not sorry of the opportunity given to still 
further punish each other, and so they tell to with a will and kept 
at it till one under the pain cried out the word, and the switching 
ended. Ever after there was peace between those two boys. 

An old student of Franklin Hardin, says that quite a number 
of large boys and young 'men attended his school, many of whom 
would fight with each other on the slightest provocation, to the 
great vexation of their teacher. Hardin always played with his 
scholars, which, indeed, was the custom with nearly all the school 
masters of the early day, and he was thus ever present to quell dis- 
turbances on the plav ground. The turbulence of the young fel- 
lows greatly annoyed their teacher. Hardly a day passed that he 
was not called upon to exercise his office as peace maker. There 
came' a time, however, when he wearied in well-doing. Two lusty 
boys, ringleaders in all quarrels, disagreed for the tenth time, and 
showed fight. " Boys," said the teacher, " we have had enough 
of this, I think you had better now settle it once and for all. You 
may fight it out, and I will see to it that there is fair play." " Here," 
to the bystanders, " let us form a ring and see it out." The prop- 
osition was no less unexpected than novel. The ardor of the lads 
cooling down they concluded not to fight. After that the practice 
of fighting fell into neglect in that school. 

Among the other school practices in the early days was the one 
of " turning out," or " barring out the master." This occurred at 
Christmas time, and the event was usually not less enjoyed by the 
teacher than his scholars. The custom was for the big boys to bar 
the school-house door against the entrance of the teacher, and keep 
him out till he agreed to furnish a treat, usually of apples, for the 
school. Sometimes cakes and cider were furnished, and in some 
parts of the state whisky, even, was demanded, but I never heard 
of a Johnson County teacher treating his scholars to any thing 
stronger than cider. Of course the teacher resisted — there would 
have been no fun else, and sometimes by superior skill or strength, 
he managed to make his way into the school house, when the 
victory was his. In the effort to do so, it was allowable for the 
scholars to seize his person if they could, when, if he still held out, 
they might tie him and carry him to a neighboring creek and duck 
him till he promised the treat. Not many teachers held out thus 
far, but instances have been known, when, after cutting a hole in the 


ice, teachers have been immersed once — nay, twice, and held under 
till they were glad to give in. All this, be it remembered, was 
done in fun and taken in good part by the teacher, who held no 
ill-will against any one on account thereof. Instances, it is true, 
have occurred in the county, where the effort of the scholars to 
force a treat was resisted in good earnest by the teacher and bad 
blood followed, but the general rule was otherwise. 

Many amusing stories are told of turning the teacher out. On 
one Christmas occasion, William Surface's scholars barred the 
school-house door against him. On reaching it he demanded en- 
trance, which, of course was refused, unless he would agree to 
treat. He declined, however, to answer to an oral proposition. 
" Some dispute,*' he said, " might arise, as to what was said," and 
so he demanded that a written proposition be presented to him. It 
was done, and pen and paper passed out to him with it. Beneath 
the boys' scrawl he wrote : 

" I except to the above proposition. 

William Surface," 
and passed the writing back. The boys were satisfied, and at once 
admitted the master. " You had better read with care what I have 
written," said he to his scholars. " It is one thing to accept a prop- 
osition, and quite another to except to it." The boys acknowledg- 
ing that the tables had been turned upon them, the teacher im- 
proved the occasion, " Were I sure," said he, " that you knew not 
the difference between the meaning of the words, I would be 
ashamed of you. I think you do, but your carelessness is not much 
less reprehensible, than your ignorance would have been. Unless 
you mend your ways in this respect, you will be fleeced all through 
life by every scoundrel who meets you." The treat followed the 
lesson, and all was serene in that school. 

A teacher by the name of Groves, who taught in the early day, 
in the northern part of the county, was barred out one Christmas 
morning. Living in a cabin hard by, he called on his wife to assist 
him. The weather was extremely cold, and it occurred to him that 
if he could drown out the school-house fire he could freeze out the 
meeting, and accordingly ascended to the top of the chimney, and 
his wife, handing him up buckets of water, he poured it down into 
the fire-place. But the effort was in vain. The boys raking the coals 
upon the ample hearth defied him. He next thought to smoke 
them out, and to that end laid boards over the chimney top; but 
the boys had thought of that contingency and were provided with 
a long pole with which to remove the boards. The teacher, 
not to be outdone, replaced the boards, and calling upon his wife, 
who entered with spirit into all his plans, had her mount the roof 


of the house and take her seat upon the chimney top, while her 
lord went below to be ready to enter the house as soon as the boys 
should leave it. Once more the youngsters resorted to the pole, 
and with such vigor did they heave at the obstruction above, that 
they not only removed the boards, but upset the dame, who, at the 
risk of limb and life, came tumbling to the earth. The obdurate 
master, abandoning all hope of taking the fortress by direct 
attack, sat down before it in siege. As the girls and younger 
scholars arrived that morning, he sent them to his own cabin, where 
his wife, turning school-mistress for the occasion, kept watch and 
ward over them. The " stars fought for Sisera" that day. Nature 
asserting her claims, one by one the garrisqn had to go out, and 
each one became the captive of the besieging master, who, march- 
ing him off in triumph, left him under the charge of the madame. 
By the time for dismissing the school in the afternoon came around, 
every boy had been taken in, and the school was in full blast in the 
master's cabin. 

He who investigates the history of the common schools of John- 
son County during the early years of its existence, cannot fail to find 
evidence of their growth in usefulness as he goes over the ground. 
The growth may not be very marked, taking one year with another, 
but the evidences of it are to be seen nevertheless.. There is an 
influx of better teachers and of better methods. Geography is in- 
troduced into the schools quite generally, and also the study of 
English grammar. In geography, Olney's and Smith's are the 
books in general use. Murray's grammar was the first, but it was 
soon superseded by Kirkham's and Smith's. New arithmetics took 
the place of the old, first Smith's, and next, Ray's, and a series of read- 
ing-books. McGuffey's Eclectic, was by degrees introduced into 
every school. A partial uniformity in text-books w r as attained, and 
this allowed to some extent, the organization* of classes. Elsewhere, 
reference has been made made to the eclectic series of school 
books as potent factors in the advancement of the schools of the 

There was another factor deserving of mention in this connec- 
tion. In 1837, the "Indiana Baptist Manual Labor Institute" was 
opened to students in Franklin, and, notwithstanding the fact that 
poverty hung like a cloud over the infant institution, it was so 
managed as to keep its doors open to the youth of the land in 
search of opportunity for achieving a higher education. Doubt- 
less, its work seemed of little consequence to the general run of 
people of that day, but looking back from our " coigne of vantage " 
now, we see that Johnson County reaped a rich reward from the 
infant college, even then. Numbers of young men, attending the 
institute in its early years, went forth to teach in the district schools 


of the county. They took with them not only a knowledge of the 
rudiments of the elementary English branches, but they taught in 
such a spirit of enthusiasm as to implant in the minds of their 
scholars far higher ideals of education, than had been the case be- 
fore. They did much to leaven the lump and prepare the people 
of the county for what was to follow. The people of Johnson 
County have done well by Franklin College, the lineal successor of 
the institute, since that day, but what they have done has been less 
a benevolence than the payment of a first debt. How much is 
owing to the colleges of the country by the beneficiaries of the pub- 
lic schools, in general, we are slow to concede. But in the blessings 
brought to the people of Johnson County by the Eclectic school- 
books, and by the masters sent out by the Baptist Institute, we 
have the lesson brought home to us. The books were prepared 
and perfected by the professors who taught for their daily bread 
in the Miami University, and the old Cincinnati College. 

In this place it may be proper to refer to the old county semin- 
ary at Franklin. By an act of the legislature of February 4, 1831, 
evefy county was authorized to establish a seminary in which a 
higher education than the common schools afforded, was to be 
taught. Under this law steps were taken looking to the establish- 
ment of such a seminary in Franklin. A two-story brick building 
was begun about 1840, and finished in the summer of 1842. But 
no school of the kind contemplated by the legislature was ever es- 
tablished therein. In September, 1842, the Rev. William Sickles, 
a Presbyterian clergyman of the town, began a subscription school 
in the new seminary building, which continued for a year. After 
him, two young women, the Misses Atell and Merrill, taught for a 
brief period. Afterward, it was used by the Methodist congrega- 
tion of the town as a preaching place for a year or two, and ulti- 
mately the county sold the building, and it was turned into a private 

In 1850, a convention was called to frame a new constitution for 
Indiana. Two college professors were members of that conven- 
tion when it assembled, one of whom was John I. Morrison, who 
represented Washington County, and who was made chairman of 
the committee on education. He had quite recently been a pro- 
fessor in the Indiana University at Bloomington, but had returned 
to his old home in Salem, where he had long been principal of the 
Washington Academy. Professor Morrison was at heart a thor- 
ough-going free school man, but he did not believe that free schools 
in Indiana could ever be successfully inaugurated, without such a 
systematic organization of all the school forces, as could only come 
from a state department of education. To that end he framed a 
resolution providing for the office of a state superintendent of edu- 


cation, and presented it to his committee; but his committee 
promptly rejected it. Thereupon, with a courage worthy of all 
praise, he presented his resolution to the convention itself, which 
not only gave him a patient hearing, but approved of his proposi- 
tion and framed it into the new constitution. The office of super- 
intendent of public instruction was thus provided for, which meant 
systematic organization, equality of means and uniformity of 
methods throughout the state. It required many years to put the 
department in full command, but the fact has been accomplished. 

During the years that have come and gone since 185 1, the pub- 
lic schools of Johnson County have steadily grown in usefulness 
and public favor. The public school fund has been constantly aug- 
menting; courses of study have been greatly enlarged; uniformity 
in text-books and consequent classification of pupils has become a 
fact, and schools are kept open, free to all, and within convenient 
distance to all, from not less than five to eight months in the year. 
In addition to all this, a system of township graded schools has 
been established, wherein a higher education may be had than is 
taught in district public schools. One of these is in the center of 
White River Township; one at Trafalgar, in Hensley; one at Will- 
iamsburg, in Nineveh; one at Hopewell, in Franklin, and one at 
Whiteland, in Pleasant. To these add the city schools of Franklin,, 
and the Edinburg and Greenwood schools, wherein more extensive 
courses of studies are introduced and taught, and we have an edu- 
cational system in active operation in Johnson County, which is the 
pride and glory of its people. The following table presents a view 
of the condition of the schools of the countv at this time: 

Enumeration of 
Children, 1888. 

No. of School- 

Value of School 







10 000 


Franklin Township 

















Whole number of children in the county within the school age 6,203 

Whole number of pupils enrolled in 1887 4>9 88 

Whole number school-houses 93 

Total value school-houses and grounds *$ 123, 150 


This sketch would be incomplete without some reference to 
Franklin College. Early in the history of the state, the leading 
men of the Baptist faith saw the necessity of founding a school of 
higher education, which should be under the control of their de- 
nomination. In 1834 tne fi rst steps were taken looking to that 
end. A meeting was held in Indianapolis, of Baptist ministers and 
laymen, and an educational society organized, the chief purpose of 
which was to " establish one or more literary or theological sem- 
inaries." At the third meeting of the society, held at Indianapolis, 
in January, 1835, the plan for a college was so far developed that 
four places were selected from which to receive bids, two in De- 
catur County, and the others at Indianapolis and Franklin. In the 
following June, the location was made at Franklin, and the " In- 
diana Baptist Manual Labor Institute," was formally established on 

This was the age of manual labor schools. About this time 
Hanover College was staggering under a name indicative of the 
manual labor carried on in shop and field by the youth who went 
there in quest of knowledge; and during the same period, not a 
few of the legislators of the state sought to graft upon the state 
college at Bloomington something of the same sort. The reader 
of the Senate and House journals for 1830 up to 1840, will find 
many resolutions and reports referring to "glebes" and "farms" 
and "Fellenberg" and " Lancastrian" systems of education in con- 
nection with the Indiana College. It was in the air, and the foun- 
ders of Franklin College could not well help beginning with a 
Manual Labor Institute. 

In 1837 a frame building was completed on the chosen site, at 
a cost of $350, and a school seems at once to have been opened 
therein by the Rev. A. R. Hinckley. In 1843, a large and com- 
modious brick building was begun, but was not completed for four 
years. It is what is known as the North Building. The year fol- 
lowing its beginning, the Manual Labor Institute, by a legislative 
enactment, gave place to Franklin College, and soon thereafter the 
Rev. G. C. Chandler became its first president, who served as such 

* I am indebted to H. D. Voris, superintendent of schools of the county, for the fore- 
going figures. 


up to 1849, when he resigned, leaving the college without a presi- 
dential head, for a period of two years. These were years of 
gloom for the college and its friends. The' institution was in debt, 
and liable to be sold on execution. But its friends rallied, the debt 
was paid off, and in 1852, the Rev. Silas Baily, D. D., an able man 
and a profound scholar, was elected to the presidency, and a new 
and brighter chapter in the history of the college was entered upon. 
"Within a few months after the Doctor had signified his acceptance, 
a new building, the counterpart of the one of 1843, was projected 
and under way. Its corner stone was laid by Judge F. M. Finch, 
in the presence of the college, and a large number of the citizens of 
the town, during the spring session of 1853, and the building was 
completed in about one year from that time. 

Like every other college in the state, Franklin knows the dis- 
advantage that comes of poverty. As early as 1842, a plan of 
raising an endowment was submitted, and many times since the 
plans have been put forth having the same end in view. But 
only a college man can realize how painfully slow the work of 
building up an endowment progresses. By 1853, a scholarship en- 
dowment of $60,000 was subscribed for, but for some reason the 
subscription proved of little advantage to the institution. The 
larger part of it was never collected. Dr. Baily continued, to exer- 
cise the office of president up to 1862, a period of ten years, when 
failing health obliged him to resign, shortly after which the college 
doors were closed. All the boys save two lame ones went to the war. 
For three years the school was abandoned. In 1867, Professors 
William Hill and Jeremiah Smith, opened a private school, which 
they continued with success, up to 1869, when the board of trustees 
once more took possession, and the college wa^s put on its feet. A 
corps of teachers, with the Rev. W. T. Stott as " acting president," 
was put in charge. The next year, the Rev. H. L. Wayland, 
D. D., was elected president. " Vigorous efforts were now made 
to so present the needs and importance of the college, that the Bap- 
tistsof the state wouldraiseatleast$ioo,ooo. After repeated efforts, 
President Wayland became discouraged and resigned. The board 
had incurred a considerable debt in repairs, and in advancing the 
pay of instructors, and so, in the early part of 1872, the college 
property was taken to secure the debt," and further work was 

This was the darkest hour in the history of the institution. The 
admirable work done under President Baily's administration had 
endeared it to the love of the young men who had been its students 
under him, as well as to the thousands of its friends throughout the 



For several years the friends of the college had been hampered 
in their efforts to build it up, by a sentiment of hostility, on account 
of what was deemed its unfavorable location. In proportion as the 
peril increased, the clamor on account of location increased, and for 
a time it seemed as if the college would go down altogether, or be 
moved to some other place. To avert the impending calamity, a 
joint stock association was organized, mainly of citizens of Johnson 
County, who promptly subscribed $51,175, and the institution was 
once more free of debt. The Rev. W. T. Stott was then elected 
president, an office he still holds, and a full faculty gathered about 
-him, since which the work of education has gone on with the regu- 
larity of the seasons. 

The work of increasing the permanent endowment of the col- 
lege has slowly but surely progressed. To-day, the productive en- 
dowment is $110,674.37; not yet productive, $30,118. Small as 
this endowment is, it is, nevertheless, large enough to be a guaran- 
tee against any such financial troubles in the future, as have over- 
taken the college in the past. The erection of a large and handsome 
new building, to which the old ones are to be the w r ings, has been 
commenced, and has so far progressed as to insure its enclosure the 
present year. This building will cost $40,000, which will be borne 
by voluntary contributions. A greater era of prosperity has never 
befallen the institution than the present. During the collegiate 
year just closed, the number of students in attendance was 223. 
The entire number who have received all, or the greater part of 
their education in Franklin College, is 3,000. The first graduate 
was John W. Dame, in 1847, since which ninety students have taken 
their degrees at the end of a full course of studies in Franklin Col- 

The names of the presidents of Franklin College have already 
been given. Among the persons who have served as professors, 
we may note William Brand, Dr. John S. Hougham, John W. 
Dame, Jeremiah Brumback, Barnett Wallace, Mark Baily and 
C. E. Baily. The faculty, as now constituted, is as follows: Rev. 
William T. Stott, D. D., president, and professor of mental and 
moral philosophy; Rev. Columbus H. Hall, B. D., vice president, 
and professor of Greek language and literature; Miss Rebecca J. 
Thompson, A. M., professor of mathematics, pure and applied; 
Rev. Arthur B. Chaffee, A. M., professor of chemistry and physics; 
David A. Owen, A. M., professor of geology and botany; John W. 
Moncrief, A. M., professor of history; Francis W. Brown, A. M., 
Ph. D., professor of Latin language and literature; J. D. Bruner, 
instructor in modern languages ; Mrs. Arabella R. Stott, instructor 
in painting and drawing; James M. Dungan, instructor in music, in- 
strumental and vocal; Miss Lucia May Wiant, instructor in elocution. 




Bench and Bar — Circuit Court — Its Judges and Officers 
— First Sessions — Early Cases — Probate Court — ■ 
Courts Under the New Constitution — Common Pleas — ■ 
Fluctuation of Litigation — Circuit Judges and Prose- 
cuting Attorneys — Early Attorneys. 

'RIGINALLY it was provided that the circuit court 
of Johnson County should be held at the house of 
John Smiley, "or,at any other place the said court shall 
adjourn to, until suitable accommodations can be provided 
at the permanent seat of justice of said county." The 
county was attached to the fifth judicial circuit, or as it 
was popularly known, to the " New Purchase " circuit, 
and was given two terms of court a year — a spring term 
and a fall term. Three judges were provided for by constitutional 
enactment, viz.: a president judge, who was elected by the Gen- 
eral Assembly of the state, and two associate judges, who were 
elected by the popular vote of the people of the county in which 
they served. 

The necessity for associate judges sprung out of a feeling of 
jealousy existing in the pioneer mind of professional men. It was 
not enough to have a jury of twelve men selected from the vicinage, 
to which all issues of fact could be submitted, but there must needs 
be two laymen, selected by popular vote from the same vicinage, 
who were to occupy a seat along with the president judge, and 
having the power to overrule him on all questions of both law and 
fact — a power that was occasionally exercised. In the absence of 
the president judge, the associates were clothed with all the powers 
appertaining to a circuit court. They could make up issues, try 
civil and criminal causes, grant restraining orders and hear writs of 
habeas corpus. The system continued up to the adoption of the 
present state constitution in 185 1. 

At the time Johnson County was made a part of the fifth 
judicial circuit, "William W. Wick was the president judge. He 
had been commissioned for a term of seven years, on the 2nd day 
of January, 1822, then being in his twenty-eighth year. Judge 
Wick was a man of marked ability, and was for a long time identi- 


fled with the people of Johnson County. He was born in western 
Pennsylvania, and studied law in the office of the Hon. Thomas 
Corwin, at Lebanon, Ohio. In 1820, he moved to Connersville, 
where he was living at the time of his elevation to the bench, not 
long after which he moved to Indianapolis, where he continued to 
reside up to 1865, when he moved to Franklin, living the remain- 
der of his days with his daughter, Mrs. Laura Overstreet. He 
died in 1879, and all that is mortal of him lies in the Franklin 
Cemetery, without a stone to mark his resting place. During his 
somewhat busy life, he served ten years on the circuit bench, four 
years as secretary of state, and five years in Congress. 

At the first election held in the county, Israel Watts, of the 
Blue River settlement, and Daniel Boaz, of the White River, were 
chosen without opposition, as far as now known, associate judges. 
Of the former, but little is known. He had the misfortune to 
live in a community where no one has ever cared to perpetuate, in 
writing, the memory of its pioneer citizens, a misfortune in which a 
large majority of the Indiana pioneers have shared. The most we 
can say of Israel Watts is, he was an uncultured and honest man, and 
was thought well of by the public he so long served in a minor 
judicial capacity. He could barely write his name, as the records 
show, but he was considered a man of excellent judgment. He 
served seven years associate judge, after which he was elected 
to the probate bench, and served seven years thereon. We know 
more of Judge Boaz. His neighbor, Judge Hardin, thus writes of 
him : " He was a fine specimen of the old Virginia gentleman, and 
of unbending dignity. He was affable, polite and kind, and was 
highly useful in imparting knowledge to his neighbors, of legal 
matters, and in their distress, when sick, and no doctor could be 
procured, in advising and contributing medicine for their relief." 

On Thursday, the 16th day of October, 1823, the first term of 
the Johnson circuit court was begun at the house of John Smiley. 
All the judges were present, and Samuel Herriott, clerk of the 
court, and John Smiley, sheriff. John Smiley lived in a two-roomed 
cabin, in one of which the court was convened, and in the other of 
which the grand jury held its sessions. James Dulaney, Daniel B. 
Wick and Calvin Fletcher, appeared as attorneys, and were duly 
sworn as such. The sheriff produced the following " good" and 
lawful men and discreet householders " who served as grand jurors, 
viz. : John Israel, foreman, William Barnett, Thomas Doan, John 
Harter, George King, Jonathan Palmer, John White, John A. Mow, 
Joab W T oodruff, William Fester, John Jacobs, John A. Miller, 
Simon Shaffer, Jefferson D. Jones and John Frazier. Daniel B. 
Wick, a younger brother of the judge, was appointed to prosecute 



the pleas of the state. In the room in which the grand jury met, 
Mrs. Smiley lay sick. The prosecutor carried in his pocket a flask 
of ardent spirits, from which the sick woman was invited by the 
prosecutor to drink. After her declination, the bottle was gener- 
ally handed to the grand jurymen, most, or all, of whom were less 
scrupulous than the sick woman. 

It was remembered that a large per cent, of the male popula- 
tion of the county attended that first term of the Johnson circuit 
court. Most of them came on foot, carrying rifles, and wearing 
leather breeches. All gave the closest attention to the legal proceed- 
ings, which, however, were of short duration, leaving considerable 
time for shooting at a mark, a pastime in which the yeomenry of 
that day, loved to engage. When the dinner hour had arrived, 
judges, lawyers, jurymen and spectators were invited to eat of the 
dinner which had been prepared for the purpose. The mistress of 
the house being sick, Mrs. Nancy Rutherford, a near neighbor, 
volunteered to bake the cornbread and roast the venison and wild 
turkeys that made the principal part of the feast. 

One civil case was on the docket when court was called the 
morning of that first day, entitled: "Henry Hines, assignee of 
William H. Eads and Thomas C. Eads, partners, trading and doing 
business under the firm of William H. Eads & Co., vs. William 
Hunt, " in which a judgment was rendered on default in the sum of 
$33-54- The grand jury returned indictments charging assault and 
battery against William Burkhart and Martin Cutsinger, and one 
against David Burkhart and Richard Berry, on charge of an affray. 
All of these breaches of ttie peace occurred at the time of the first 
election, held at the home of Hezekiah Davison, in the March be- 
fore. Amos Durbin filed a petition for a change in a highway, 
after which, an allowance of 75 cents was made to each of the grand 
jurymen, and of $2 to each of the associate judges, and then the 
court adjourned until the next term, to meet at the house of George 

On the first Monday in March, 1824, the court convened at the 
place appointed, with the same officers as at first. George King's 
wheelwright shop having been put in order, was made the court 
room. Gabriel Johnson, Philip Sweetzer, Edgar C. Wilson and 
Hiram Brown were admitted to practice at the Johnson County 
bar. The following named persons were sworn as grand jurors, 
to wit: Isaac Davison, Hezekiah Davison, David Webb, Andrew 
Pierce, Jacob Groseclose, Robert Gilcrees, William Burkhart, 
George W. Blankenship, John Adams, Sr., Jesse Davison, Ab- 
raham Lowe, Lewis Pritchard, John Hamner, John Campbell 
and Patrick Cowan — fifteen good and true men ; and Abraham 


Lowe was made the foreman. On the case of the State vs. David 
Burkhart and Richard Berry, who were indicted at the former 
term of court, for an affray, being called, the first named on being 
arraigned plead not guilty, and demanded a jury. The following 
persons were called and sworn to " well and truly " try the case, 
viz. : Zachariah Sparks, David McCaslin, William Etter, Willis S. 
Mills, Michael Brown, Permenter Mullenix, Abraham Sells, Spen- 
cer Barnett, Philip Moore, Philip W. Robinson and William Ruth- 
erford. After hearing the evidence and the argument of counsel, 
they found the defendant guilty, and assessed his fine at one cent. 
An alias writ was issued for his partner in crime — Richard Berry. 
An indictment for an assault and battery was found against John 
Doty, of White River. He and Permenter Mullenix, at the elec- 
tion, in March, 1823, had a fight about their candidates for clerk, 
and doubtless, this indictment arose out of that trouble. Timothy 
S. Goodman obtained a judgment against William Hunt, in assump- 
sit, for $85.92. An appeal from Justice McDonald's docket, of a 
case entitled, "State of Indiana vs. William Quin," was dismissed 
by " Wick for the State." Curtis Pritchard and Isabella, his wife, 
acknowledged the execution of a deed, to lands in Kentucky, be- 
fore the court, which was made a matter of record. The bond 
of James Thompson, guardian of Alfred Thompson, Jennette A. 
Thompson, Alexander B. Thompson and Celia D. Thompson, with 
William R. Hensley and Ann Thompson, as sureties, was approved. 
William Smiley was allowed 75 cents for all day's services as 
sheriff. John Smiley, sheriff, $25 for "extra services," Samuel 
Herriot, clerk, and Daniel B. Wick, prosecuting attorney, each the 
same. The term began and ended on the same day, during which 
the presiding judge found time to lay down on King's work-bench 
and " shake with the ague." The following September ( 1824), the 
court convened again, at the house of George King, but immedi- 
ately the following entry was ordered by the judges : " The court 
being satisfied that a more convenient house for the holding of the 
court can be had in the Town of Franklin, the seat of justice for 
said county, now adjourns, to meet at that house instanter." 

The "convenient house" referred to was the first court house 
erected in the county. It stood on lot 22, and was built during the 
summer of 1824, by William Shaffer, the county recorder, who 
was by occupation a house joiner. Thomas Williams, who was the 
owner of the only yoke of oxen then in the new town, drew the 
logs to the building site for $1. The house was in keeping 
with the poverty of the county. It was two stories high, was built 
of hewed logs, and a broad wooden outside and south side stairs 
led from the ground up to the second floor, which was the court 



room. This was furnished with a table, "two splint-bottomed 
chairs, one for the judge and one for the clerk," with wooden 
benches without backs, for the accommodation of associate judges, 
lawyers, jurymen, litigants and spectators. 

Harvey Gregg, producing his commission as prosecuting attor- 
ney for the fifth judicial circuit, was duly affirmed by Judge Wick. 
Michael G. Bright was admitted to practice at the Johnson County 
bar. The business of the court had so increased that it required 
two days to dispose of it. Nine state causes claimed the attention 
of the court, three of which were recognizances for surety of 
the peace. One was against Andrew Pierce with John Rowe as 
complaining witness, who, says the record, being duly sworn saith, 
"That he is not as fearful of bodily injury from the said Andrew 
as when he first complained against him, but that he is still afraid 
he, the said Andrew, will do him some bodily injury, and that he is 
afraid to trust him"; and the said Andrew was thereupon required 
to give surety that he would keep the peace toward all men, and 
"more especially toward the said John Rowe." 

In the log court house, the circuit courts continued to assemble 
every spring and fall, up to 1831, when a new brick structure was 
erected in the public square at a cost of $1,176.50. On the 18th 
of May, 1849, tn ^ s building was consumed by fire, after which 
another brick house was built on its site at a cost of $10,684. O n 
the 1 2th of December, 1874, trns m turn, was consumed by fire. 
Thereupon, the county commissioners caused a frame building to 
be erected south of the square, which served the purpose till a new 
one, begun in 1879, cou ld be completed. This imposing structure 
was erected at the contract price of $79,100. From what has been 
written, it will be perceived that the circuit court, as originally con- 
stituted in this state, was a court of very general jurisdiction. In 
1830, a probate court was established, and Israel Watts was elected 
and served as probate judge of the county \rp to 1837. For a 
period of more than twenty years the two courts retained their 
respective jurisdictions without any material change. 

With the adoption of the new constitution in 185 1, the old judi- 
cial system gave way, and with it ended the first period of the 
county's judicial history. The names of those who have held the 
office of circuit judge in the Johnson circuit court will be given 
hereafter. The following are the names of those who served as 
associate judges, viz.: Israel Watts, 1823 to 1830; Daniel Boaz, 
1823 to 1837; William Keaton, 1830 to 1835; James R. Alexan- 
der, 1835 to 1843; Robert Moore, 1837 to 1844; James Fletcher, 
1843 to 1845; John R. Carver, 1844 to 1851; John Wilson, 1845 
to 1851. The following persons filled the office of probate judge: 


Israel Watts, 1830 to 1837; John Smiley, 1837 to 1844; Bartholo- 
mew Applegate, 1844 to 1851; Peter Voris, 1851 to 1852. 

The new constitution kept the circuit court on foot with its two 
terms a year. The office of associate judge was abolished, and 
the probate court also gave way for a new court — the common 
pleas. All the weightier matters of the law were left to the juris- 
diction of the circuit court, but the General Assembly having been 
empowered by the constitution to create courts of inferior jurisdic- 
tion to the circuit court, in 1853 the common pleas court was legis- 
lated into existence. It was intended to be a court of convenience. 
Four terms a year were provided for, and it was given exclusive 
jurisdiction in all probate matters, and concurrent jurisdiction with 
the circuit court in misdemeanor cases, and in inferior civil causes. 
Johnson County constituted one district, and Franklin Hardin was 
elected the first judge, and served as such to i860. Judge Hardin, 
in his younger days, had studied law, but had no experience as a 
practitioner. He had, however, a valuable experience as a legisla- 
tor, and had served as a delegate in the constitutional convention. 
He had a fine natural ability, was a diligent student, a painstaking 
judge, and under his administration the Johnson common pleas at- 
tained a degree of popularity that clung to it as long as it had an 

The conditions that led to the final overthrow of the common 
pleas court arose mainly out of the legislation of the state. In 
i860, the districts were greatly enlarged. Johnson, Shelby, Brown, 
Morgan and Monroe counties were being joined in one circuit. 
Similar changes were made with all the counties, which, at once, de- 
prived the court of its most popular features, viz. : that of being a 
county court. The judges, instead of being taken from the ranks 
of neighbors, came, in a great measure, from the ranks of strangers. 
Originally, the jurisdiction of the circuit and common pleas was 
separate and distinct, but act after act was passed extending the 
jurisdiction of the common pleas, until the partition wall was fairly 
broken down. There came a time when this could be truthfully 
written. "The circuit court has jurisdiction of all felonies and 
misdemeanors; the common pleas of all misdemeanors, and under 
certain circumstances, of felonies. The circuit court has exclus- 
ive jurisdiction of all cases where the title to real estate comes di- 
rectly in issue, but the common pleas may try causes where the 
title comes collaterally in issue. The circuit court has exclusive 
jurisdiction in actions for slander and libel, for injuries to the per- 
son, and for breach of promise ; the common pleas in all probate 
matters. In the wide domain of causes arising out of contract, 
comprising nine-tenths of the matters litigated in our courts, their 



jurisdiction is concurrent, and from them an appeal may go directly 
to the court of last resort." 

The anomalous spectacle was presented of two courts, each 
having its own judge and prosecutor, with substantially the same 
jurisdiction, administering justice in the same county. The com- 
mon pleas districts were laid off without reference to the circuits, 
and in many places, as soon as the term of one court expired, the 
other was ready to begin. A few instances occurred where the 
laws authorized both courts to be in session at the same time. 

In 1873, an act was passed abolishing the common pleas, and 
giving to the circuit court jurisdiction of all causes theretofore 
belonging to both courts, and providing for four terms a year in 
each county. The following persons held the office of common 
pleas judge in the Johnson district, with their terms of service 
annexed to their names, viz.: Franklin Hardin, 1853 to i860; 
George A. Buskirk, i860 to 1864; Oliver J. Glessner, 1864 to 
1868; Thomas W. WooL'en, 1868- to 1870, resigned before term 
expired; Richard Coffey, 1870 to 1873. Judge Buskirk was a 
resident of Monroe County, Judge Glessner of Morgan, and Judge 
Coffey of Brown. Judges Hardin and Woollen were of Johnson 
County. From the organization of the county up to 1869, it had 
been attached to the Indianapolis circuit, but a new circuit was 
established in that year, consisting of Johnson, Shelby, Barthol- 
omew and Brown counties, and in 1873, when the act abolishing 
the common pleas was passed, Johnson and Shelby counties were 
organized into a circuit, which arrangement is still in existence. 

Comparison of Business. — An inspection of the records of the 
circuit and common pleas courts discloses some interesting facts 
relating to the legal business of the county. From the organiza- 
tion of the common pleas court up to and .including i860, the cases 
on the docket of the early spring terms, varied from forty-one to 
sixty-three, the highest number being in 1856. During the same 
time in the circuit court the number of cases on the docket at the 
spring terms varied from fifty to seventy-nine, the highest number 
being reached in 1858. During the war period, the cases on docket 
at the spring terms ran from eighty-three in 1861, down to twenty- 
five in 1863, and twenty- two in 1864. In the common pleas court 
there was little change, the average during that period being about 
sixty causes. In 1872, the number of causes at the March term of 
the circuit court reached 104, the first time in the history of the 
court the 100th was passed. At the following September term 
the number reached 121. There was a corresponding increase 
on the common pleas docket. Legal business was on the increase, 
not only in Johnson County, but in every other county in the state, 

39 6 


and in truth, everywhere in the west. Beginning with 1870, and 
continuing for a period of thirteen years, was an unprecedented 
era of litigation throughout the country. 

The first term of the circuit court after the abolition of the 
common pleas, in April, 1873, at w r hich term the cases left over at the 
final term of the common pleas, were transferred to the circuit court 
docket, bringing the whole number of causes on its docket up to 
177. The following table shows the number of civil causes on 
docket at each term, from and including the year 1874, up to and in- 
cluding the year 1887 (with the exception of the year 1878, the 
court docket for which year, not being found). Only three terms 
of the court were held in 1873, hence the exclusion of that year: 

February Term. 

April Term. 

Sept. Term. 

Nov. Term. 









i5 2 









65 1 

















The criminal causes are excluded from this showing, but it is 
believed that there has been during the past ten years, as great 
a falling off in the criminal business of the court as in the 
civil, if not a greater. A confirmation of the facts as shown by the 
term dockets, appears in the number of pages of records made 
each year by the clerks. The record contains a history of the 
work done, and a comparison of the total number of pages of 
record made each year, proves the same facts that are proved by the 
dockets of cases filed. In 1876 the court reached high water 
mark, the total number of causes for that year being 876, which was 
157 more than ever reached before in one year, and forty more 
than ever reached since. An inspection of "the table will show that 
for the two years preceding 1876, the number of causes greatly 
exceeded the highest number reached in any succeeding year, 
save in 1877, and that the business of the court has diminished, 
until it is but little more than half what it was in the two flush 



years. In 1882 and in 1883 it was considerably less than half what 
it was in 1876 and 1877. 

The increase of legal business in Johnson County dates from a 
period following close upon the heels of the war. Many causes 
combined to this end, two of which may be named. It was at 
this time that the gravel roads of the county began to be built. 
The early legislation under which the work was begun was exceed- 
ingly crude. The laws were ambiguous and uncertain, and out of 
this sprung litigation. Even after, by successive legislative acts, the 
gravel road laws had been reduced to a somewhat orderly system, 
the litigation continued because of the magnitude of the interests 
concerned. Gravel road construction proved expensive, and men 
in general refused to pay assessments until their legality was estab- 
lished by the courts. As a consequence, beginning with 1869 and 
continuing up to 1S75, the court of the county was crowded with a 
class of business hard to manage by reason of the many novel ques- 
tions arising, but profitable to the lawyers engaged in it. 

Another potent cause of the increase of business during the 
same period, came as a legacy from the war. The inflated condi- 
tion of the currency following its close, brought about a period of 
wild and reckless extravagance. The courts reaped the rewards. 
The efforts of creditors to secure their debts, and of debtors to es- 
cape payment, helped to swell the dockets. To adjust the al- 
most infinite variety of business complications, arising out of the 
disturbed condition of the monetary affairs of the people, occupied a 
period of not less than twelve years, from 1865 to 1877. 

The following table shows the names of the persons who have 
held the office of circuit judge in Johnson County, their places of 
residence, and the time during which they held office : 

William W. Wick, Indianapolis... 1S23-182 5 I William W. Wick, Indianapolis 1859 

Bethuel F. Morris, Indiannapolis. 1825-1834 Fabius M. Finch, t Franklin 1859-1865 

William W. Wick, Indianapolis. . . 1834-1840 John Coburn, Indianapolis 1865-1866 

James Morrison, Indianapolis 1 840- 1 842 Cyrus C. Hines, Indianapolis 1866-1869 

Fabius M. Finch, Franklin 1842-1843 Samuel P. Oyler, Franklin 1869-1870 

William J. Peaslee, Indianapolis. . 1843-1850 . David D. Banta, Franklin 1870-1876 

William W. Wick, Indianapolis. .. 1850-1852 Kendall M. Hord, Shelbyville 1876-1888 

Stephen Major, Indianapolis 1852-1839 I 

The following have filled the office of prosecuting attorney up 
to the present time, to-wit: Daniel B. Wick, 1823; Harvey Gregg, 
1824; Calvin Fletcher, 1825; James Whitcomb, 1826; William W. 
Wick, 1829; Hiram Brown, 1831; James Gregg, 1832; William 
Herrod, 1834; William Quarles, 1838; William J. Peaslee, 1840; 
Hugh O. Neal, 1841; H. H. Barbour, 1843; Abrarn Hammond, 
1844; Edward Lander, 1848; John Ketchum, 1848; David Wal- 
lace, 1848; Gabriel M. Overstreet, 1849; David S. Gooding, 1851; 


Reuben S. Riley, 1853; D. W. Chipman, 1855; Peter S. Ken- 
nedy, 1857; William P. Fishback, 1863; William W. Leathers, 
1865; Joseph S. Miller, 1867; Daniel W. Howe, 1869; Nathaniel 
T. Carr, 1870; John Morgan, 1871; K. M. Hord, 1872; W. S. 
Ray, 1874; Leonard J. Hackney, 1878; Jacob L. White, 1880; 
Frederick Staff, 1882; Peter M. Dill, 1886. 

Up to, and including the incumbency of David Wallace in 
1848, all were residents of Indianapolis, save William Herrod, 
who lived in Columbus. Of the others, Gooding and Riley 
lived in Greenfield; Chipman, Fishback and Leathers lived in In- 
dianapolis; Kennedy, and Miller in Danville; Carr and Morgan, in 
Columbus; Hood, Ray, and Hackney, in Shelby ville, and Over- 
street, Howe, White, Staff and Dill were residents of Franklin, 
where all yet reside, save D. W. Howe, who moved to Indianapolis 
shortly after the close of his term, where he has made an enviable 
reputation as a judge of the Marion supreme court. 

The first lawyer to settle permanently in Franklin was Fabius- 
M. Finch, who after a thirty years' residence in the town and prac- 
tice at the bar, moved to Indianapolis, where he still resides. In 
1833, Gilderoy Hicks moved to the town, and opened a law office 
and practiced with a good degree of success up to about 1857, 
when he retired on account of failing health, and shortly after died. 
About 1847, John Slater, a Canadian, began the practice, and con- 
tinued up to 1856, when he left the country, and subsequently died 
in Tennessee. The same year of Slater's admission to the bar, 
Gabriel M. Overstreet was admitted, and in the year following, 
Anderson B. Hunter. On the 21st of February, of the year following 
(1849), tn ese two young lawyers formed a partnership, which is 
still unbroken, and has the merit of being the oldest partnership in 
the practice of law in the state. In 1851, Samuel P. Oyler began 
the practice, and is still at the bar. In 1856, Richard M. Kelly 
settled at Edinburg, where he opened an office and continued in the 
active practice at the Franklin bar up to 1878, at which time he 
died. Others came during this early period of the history of the 
Franklin bar, but none remained in the practice beyond a few 
years. Of these were, Duane Hicks, son of Gilderoy, who died 
ere he reached the prime of life; Joseph Thompson, who, after a 
short struggle, moved to Macomb, in Illinois, where he yet lives; 
H. H. Hatch and Joseph King, both of whom settled at Edinburg, 
but soon moved to the west, and Jonathan H. Williams, who .was 
killed early in the war in a Shenandoah Valley battle. 



William L. Applegate, one of the substantial farmers and 
stock-raisers of Blue River and Nineveh townships, was born in 
Johnson County, Ind., on the 15th day of April, 1833. He is the 
third son and sixth child of Bartholomew and Elizabeth (Drake) 
Applegate, natives respectivelv of New Jersey and Pennsylvania. 
The father emigrated to Warren County, Ohio, in an early day, 
was married there, and later, went back to New Jersey and became 
captain of a sailing vessel. In 182 1, he made a tour through Indi- 
ana for the purpose of purchasing land, and being pleased with the 
country in what is now Johnson County, entered 160 acres in the 
present townships of Nineveh and Blue River. To this land he 
moved his family in 1832, and for some years thereafter, lived" the 
life of a pioneer, enduring all the hardships incident to life in a new 
and undeveloped country. He served as probate judge in an early 
clay, and died in 1854, a g e d sixty-one years. Mrs. Applegate sur- 
vived her husband twenty-eight years, ctying in 1882, aged eighty- 
one. They were the parents of thirteen children, eleven of whom 
grew to manhood and womanhood, seven now living. William L. 
Applegate grew to manhood in Johnson County, and early became 
acquainted with the rugged duties of farm life. His early educa- 
tional training was somewhat limited, and for some years he man- 
aged the home farm, looking after his mother's interests. At the 
age of thirty-six, on Christmas day, 1868, he married Miss Katie 
G. Irons, daughter of Garrett and Mary Ann (Giberson) Irons, of 
New Jersey, a union blessed with the birth of two children, viz. : 
Frederick T. and Bart I. Mrs. Applegate died in 1872. Subse- 
quently, Mr. Applegate married Miss Annie M. Irons, sister of his 
former wife, by whom he has had two children, viz. : Bennie and 
John B. Mr. Applegate owns a well improved farm of 150 acres 
in Nineveh and Blue River townships, the line between the two run- 
ning through the place. He is an exemplary citizen, a republican 
in politics, and an active member of the Odd Fellows. 

Henry C. Bailey, cashier John A. Thompson's Bank, Edin- 
burg, was born in Shelby County, Ind., September 21, 1854, 
and is a son of Julius M. and Eveline (Thornberry) Bailey. His 
parents were both natives of Indiana. The father, for a number of 
years, was identified with the mercantile interests of Freeport, 
Ind., and later followed merchandising in Indianapolis. He was 
a man of character, high social standing, and for many years an 
active member of the Christian Church. Henry C. Bailey was 
reared and educated in his native town and Indianapolis. On 


quitting school he accepted a clerical position in the office of -the 
Marion County circuit court, and later engaged with the Brad- 
street Commercial Agency, with which he was identified for a 
period of ten years. In 1S87 he became assistant cashier in the 
banking house of John A. Thompson, Edinburg, the duties of 
which position he is still discharging. Mr. Bailey possesses supe- 
rior clerical abilities, and in his various positions earned the repu- 
tation of a safe and painstaking business man. May 4, 1884, he 
was united in marriage with Miss Susan Thompson, the accom- 
plished daughter of John A. Thompson, of Edinburg, a lady 
favorably known for her rare attainments and amiable traits 
of character. They have two children, to-wit: Lillian and Mary E. 

Charles Bay was born in Montgomery County, Ky., March 
6, 1819, and is the" only son of Joseph and Judith (Epper- 
son) Bay, natives respectivelv of Pennsylvania and Tennessee. 
Until fifteen years of age he resided in his native state, but in 1834 
accompanied his father to Johnson County, Ind., where he has since 
resided. The father died in 1837, while on a visit to Kentucky, 
and the mother departed this life in Johnson County, in the year 
1 85 1. They were the parents of four children, two of whom are 
living, to-wit: the subject of this sketch, and Mrs. Nancy Jones, of 
Illinois. Mr. Bay early chose agriculture for a life work, and has 
always pursued that calling. He owns a fine farm of 145 acres, in 
the western part of Blue River Township, and is one of the suc- 
cessful farmers and leading citizens of his community. Mr. Bay 
has been three times married : first, to Miss Alice Watts, who died 
in 1850. The children of this marriage were three in number, two 
now living, viz. : Joseph R. and Israel. Mr. Bay's second wife was 
Keturah Chenoweth, who died in 1855, leaving one child, a daugh- 
ter, Mary A. The third marriage was solemnized with Mrs. Har- 
riett F. DeHart, who has borne five children, two of whom are now 
living, Laura and Joseph N. Bay. 

George M. Bishop, son of Valentine and Mary E. (Horine) 
Bishop, was born in Mercer County, Ky., on the 1st day of Janu- 
ary, 1821. His father was a soldier in the Canadian War, and 
died in Kentucky, at the age of forty-five years. The mother died 
later, aged fifty-eight years. The subject remained in his native 
county until his twenty-fifth year, and then went to LaRue County, 
and engaged in blacksmithing at the town of Buffalo, where he 
followed his trade for some time. In 1876, he came to Indiana, 
and for two years thereafter, followed farming in Johnson County, 
moving at the end of that time to Bartholomew County, and later, to 
Shelby County, where he resided until his removal to Edinburg in 1 884 
or 1885. Although having moved -a number of times, Mr. Bishop has 



been successful in a business point of view, the fruits of his indus- 
try and labors, being represented at this time by valuable real es- 
tate in Edinburg, besides other property of a personal kind. 
While a resident of LaRue County, Ky., Mr. Bishop was elected 
coroner, the only official position he has ever held, or desired to 
hold, being much averse to political notoriety. He married in 
LaRue County, June 4, 1846, Miss Catherine A. Dye, of Ken- 
tucky, who has borne him eleven children, the following of whom 
are living: John W., Mary J., Louisa F., Sarah B., Melissa E., 
George F., William E., Charles E., and Virdie T. 

Alexander Breeding (deceased) was a member of one of the 
early pioneer families of this part of Indiana. He was born in the 
town of Columbiana, Adair County, Ky., on the 9th day of 
November, 1823. His parents were David and Mary (Hendrick- 
son) Breeding, the former of Scotch, and the latter of Irish, descent. 
In 1828, when the subject was but five years of age, the family 
immigrated to Indiana and settled in Bartholomew County, thence 
later to Johnson County, where Alexander grew to maturity. 
Reared amid the stirring scenes of pioneer times, Mr. Breeding's 
early life was a constant series of toil and hardships, but the ex- 
perience gained thereby enabled him to overcome successfully 
many obstacles which would have discouraged men of less spirit 
and determination. His chief occupation for one year was hauling 
whisky to the city of Madison, and he also made trips by flat- 
boat down the river. Later he began farming in Blue River Town- 
ship, Johnson County, a business he followed until his death, and 
by means of which he accumulated a large and valuable property. 
He became a prominent stock-raiser, a business which also proved 
financially profitable, his large stock-farm in Blue River being at 
this time worth over $100 per acre. As a public-spirited man he 
is fully alive to the material and moral interests of the community. 
Mr. Breeding occupied a conspicuous place among his fellow- 
citizens of Blue River Township. He was married December 12, 
1843, to Rebecca Ann Thompson, by whom he had eleven child- 
ren, three of whom are living, viz. : William H., Effie L., wife of 
William M. Perry, and Frank A. Mrs. Breeding dying, Mr. Breed- 
ing subsequently married Miss Mattie J. Kerr, who now lives with her 
uncle, Thomas Kerr. Mr. Breeding was a republican in politics, 
and an active member of the Christian Church. His death 
occurred on the 12th day of August, 1887. 

John Brockman (deceased), the subject of this sketch, was 
a native of Shelby County, Ind., born on the 21st day of June, 
1828. He was raised a farmer, and early began working at that use- 
ful occupation, which he followed successfully all his life. July 12, 


1861, he married Miss Mary Beeson, whose father, Isaac Beeson, 
was born in North Carolina, in the year 1801. Mr. Beeson came to 
Indiana many years ago, and was a leading farmer of Blue River 
Township, where his death occurred March 29, 1884. He had a 
family of nine children, two of whom fell in defence of the old flag 
in the late Civil War. Mrs. Beeson died in the year 1871. For 
several years after his marriage Mr. Brockman lived with his father- 
in-law, and in 1884 erected a beautiful residence, which was his 
home for a little less than two years. He met his death under the 
following painful circumstances : " One Friday afternoon he took 
his gun for the purpose of shooting a hawk, but failing in this, 
started to go out where his dogs w r ere chasing a rabbit. In the 
act of climbing a fence near the house, the gun by some means was 
discharged, the shot taking effect in his body, severing an artery 
near the heart." Mrs. Brockman seeing him fall, ran to his assist- 
ance, and reached him in time to see him expire. He died in her 
arms without a sign of recognition. His funeral was largely at- 
tended, and the sermon on the occasion, preached by Rev. Mr. 
Turner, of Edinburg, was a glowing an,d eloquent tribute to a 
loving husband and father, and a deserved enconium to his worth 
as an honorable citizen and respected neighbor. At the time of his 
death Mr. Brockman was fifty-eight years and six months old. Mr. 
and Mrs. Brockman raised a family of five children, namely: 
Vinson, Ulysses, Isaac, Annie and Charles, all of whom are living 
with their mother on the home farm in Blue River Township. 

W. T. Brockman. — Landay Brockman, father of the subject 
of this sketch, was a native of Virginia, and grew to manhood in 
Kentucky, having been taken to the latter state when but four 
years old. He married in Kentucky, Martha Shipp, and later 
moved to Shelby Count)', Ind., settling in the woods, and for some 
years lived the rugged life of the pioneer. He was one of the 
early settlers of Shelby, and at the time of his arrival his nearest 
neighbors were the Indians, with whom he appears to have been 
upon terms of the greatest friendship. He made a valuable farm, 
and became a leading citizen of the community in which he resided. 
Mrs. Brockman died at the age of sixty-four; she was the mother 
of twelve children, seven of whom are now living. " Until within a 
year of his death, Mr. Brockman lived on his home place, consist- 
ing of 320 acres of land, but later moved to Edinburg, and died in 
that town at the advanced age of seventy-two. He was an active 
member of the Methodist Protestant Church, a great temperance 
worker, and in early life supported the principles of the whig 
party. W. T. Brockman was born and reared in Shelby County, 
and early chose the farmer's vocation for his life work. His educa- 


tional training was confined to a few months' attendance each year 
in the common schools, but by observation he has since become the 
possessor of a fund of valuable practical knowledge. December 
22, 1852, he married Martha, daughter of William pnd Phoebe 
(Coons) Lewis, of Shelby County, the parents natives of Vir- 
ginia. Shortly after his marriage, Mr. Brockman purchased his 
present farm in Johnson County, which lies in sight of the old 
home place, where the years of his youth and early manhood 
were passed. He now owns one of the most valuable and attract- 
ive farms in Blue River Township, and is justly considered one of 
the leading citizens of the community in which he resides. Mr. 
and Mrs. Brockman are the parents of six children, four living, viz. : 
Sarah C, Mary J., Landay and Clara E. The deceased children 
are: Ella O. and Maggie. Mr. Brockman is a republican in poli- 
tics, and with his wife belongs to the Methodist Protestant Church. 
C. L. Clancy, the gentleman whose sketch is herewith pre- 
sented, is a native of Jefferson County, Ohio, born in the town of 
La Grange, on the 3d day of May, 1851. He is a son of William 
Clancy, who was at one time, a leading hotel man of La Grange, 
and who died when C. L. was quite young. The children of the 
family, four in number, after the parents' death, were kindly cared 
for by relatives, the subject falling under the especial care of an 
uncle, Charles Clancy, with whom he made his home until his 
fourteenth year. At that early age, with the spirit that animated 
the patriotic young men throughout the entire north during the 
trying years of the nation's peril, he offered his services to his 
country, enlisting in the One Hundred and Seventh-fourth Ohio 
Volunteer Infantry, with which he served for one year. During 
his period of service he was with his regiment in thirteen battles, 
thus winning a record of which older soldiers might be proud. On 
quitting the army he engaged in the harness business at Carding- 
ton, Ohio, and four years later located at the town of Chesterville, 
that state, where he was similarly engaged for two years. He af- 
terward abandoned the business and accepted an agency to sell 
washing machines in Indiana, and in 187 1, came to Johnson County, 
where the following year he engaged in the livery business in the 
city of Edinburg, which he continued several years. He then 
abandoned livery and opened a feed and sale stable, which he has 
since carried on in connection with raising and dealing in fine 
blooded horses and trotting stock. He is, at this time, one of the 
leading stock-men of Johnson County, and at his stable can be seen 
a number of very fine animals, among which the names of Daniel 
Boone, Blue Bull, Mambrino Turk, have more than a. local reputa- 
tion. Mr. Clancy is well known among the stock-men of the state, 


and has already a large and lucrative business, which is steadily in- 
creasing. He was married September 1, 1S78, to Miss Ida, daugh- 
ter of David M. White, of Bartholomew County, who has borne 
him one child, Charles S. In addition to his fine stock, which repre- 
sents a capital of several thousand dollars, Mr. Clancy owns valuable 
real estate in Michigan and Kansas, and a fine farm near the town 
of Edinburg. Politically, he is a republican, and in religion belongs 
to the Christian Church of Edinburg, as does also his wife. He is 
a member of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows. 

Jacob Coffelt (deceased), the subject of this sketch, was 
a member of one of the oldest pioneer families of Johnson Count}-, 
his parents, Henry and Barbara Coffelt, moving here from 
Tennessee several years before the county organization, and settling 
near the present site of Amity, in Blue River Township. Here 
the Coffelt family lived the life of pioneers, and amid the stirring 
scenes of frontier life, raised a family of children, several of whom 
eventually became leading citizens of the community- Jacob Cof- 
felt was born in east Tennessee, September 18, 1800, and while 
still young, accompanied his parents to Johnson County, Ind., 
where he grew to manhood as a farmer. His first wife was Miss Re- 
becca Hamner, whom he married in this county, and with whom 
he lived happily for about twenty years. After her death he mar- 
ried Miss Rachel C. Brown, of North Carolina, daughter of Benja- 
min and Lydia (Walters) Brown, both of whom died in that state. 
The marriage was solemnized on the 15th day of August, 1866. 
Mr. Coffelt was an industrious farmer, and a man whose good name 
was never impugned by any who knew him. He was for years, a 
gfeat sufferer, but was not confined to his bed until within a few 
hours of his death, which sad event occurred on the 5th day of 
March, 1885. Mrs. Coffelt is at this time a woman well advanced 
in age, being seventy-three years old. She is widely and favorably 
known for her kindly and benevolent disposition, and unblemished 
Christian character. 

Thomas R. Coffelt (deceased), native of Tennessee, and 
son of Henry and Barbara Coffelt, was born on the 1st day 
of January, 181 3. When quite young, he came to Indiana, and 
settled, prior to the organization of Johnson County, on Young's 
Creek, near the present site of Amity, in Blue River Township. 
Here he cleared a farm and lived the live of a pioneer, having 
been one of the early settlers in the southern part of the county. 
On the 4th day of April, 1833, he was united in marriage with Miss 
Elizabeth Hamner, sister of John Hamner, a member of one of the 
early pioneer families, and by her had two children, both deceased. 
Mrs. Coffelt clied on the nth day of July, 1849. Mr - Coffelt's sec- 



ond marriage was solemnized July 19, i860, with Miss Amanda 
Brown, daughter of Benjamin and Lydia (Walters) Brown, of 
Ashe County, N. C. To this marriage were born two children, one 
of whom, Mrs. Nancy E. Barron, is now living. Mr. Coffelt fol- 
lowed farming all his life, and was a man of many noble and sterling 
qualities. His death occurred at his home place, near the village 
of Amity, on the 15th day of April, 1873, his age being sixty years 
three months and fifteen days. His widow still suYvives, and lives 
on the home farm, a handsome place of 200 acres, finely improved. 
She was born January 13, 1824, and is a well preserved woman for 
her age. 

Isaac D. Collier, of the town of Edinburg, the oldest na- 
tive born citizen of Blue River Township, and possibly of Johnson 
County, his birth having occurred on the 19th day of April, 1S24. 
His early years were passed in a routine of hard labor, in his fath- 
er's saw- and grist-mill, and while still young he assisted in trans- 
porting the products of said mills by flat-boat to New Orleafts and 
intermediate points. At the age of eighteen he began learning the 
blacksmith's trade with his father, and after becoming proficient in 
the same, engaged in the business for himself, and followed it until 
1852. In that year he joined the tide of emigration to California, 
and was there until 1859, mining and working at his trade. Re- 
turning to Johnson County in 1859, ^ e purchased the family home- 
stead, and resided upon the same until 1861, when he entered .the 
army as private in Company C, Twenty-seventh Indiana Infantry, 
Col. Colgrove's regiment, with which he served seven months, 
when he was discharged on account of physical disabilities. In 
1862, he suffered a severe loss by fire, but soon rebuilt the house 
in which he at present resides. While making a second trip west, 
a little later, Mr. Collier met with a serious accident, being thrown 
from a horse, resulting in the breaking of one of his legs, which 
disabled him for over nine months. He was absent from home 
nearly two years, and spent the time hunting and trapping through- 
out the States of Missouri and Kansas. Since 1872, -Mr. Collier 
has been in the employ of John A. Thompson, as night watch in 
the large flouring mill near Edinburg. He was married November, 
1850, to Mrs. Catherine C. Toner (nee Folander), by whom he has 
had two children, viz.: Annie L., wife of Martin W. Hunt, and 
Maggie. By her previous marriage, Mrs. Collier is the mother of 
one child, a son, William Toner. Mr. Collier is a member of the 
A. F. & A. M., and a republican in politics. 

John A. Collier, the gentleman whose biographical sketch is 
herewith presented, is a representative of one of the earliest pioneer 
families in Johnson County, his father, Isaac Collier, having located 


on the present site of Edinburg, before the county was organized. 
The Colliers were early residents of Greenfield, Ohio, in which 
town the above named Isaac worked at the blacksmithing trade. 
He served in the War of 1 812 as drum major, and shortly after 
the close of the struggle came to Indiana. He eventually came to 
Johnson County and built the first residence in the town of Edin- 
burg, and also claimed the distinction of being the first mechanic 
of the place, opening a blacksmith shop immediately upon his arrival. 
He was a splendid mechanic, especially skilled in fine work, such 
as edged tools, guns, pistols, etc. His wife's maiden name was 
Nancy Jones. He married her in Ohio, and raised a family of nine 
children, only two of whom are now living, to-wit: Isaac D. and 
the subject of this sketch. He died in the year 1840, at the age of 
sixty. His wife survived him forty years, dying in 1880, at the 
ripe old age of ninety. John A. Collier was born in the town of 
Greenfield, Ohio, on the 2^th day of November, 1820. He was 
raised in Johnson County, Ind., and obtained his first start in life by 
flat-boating and saw-milling. He subsequently purchased land in 
Blue River Township, and engaged in farming, which was his occu- 
pation until 18S3. In that year he turned his attention to the manu- 
facture of brick, a business he still follows. In this enterprise Mr. 
Collier has been quite successful, the yearly production of his kilns 
being over 200,000 brick, all of which find ready sale in Edinburg 
and vicinity. Mr. Collier was married January 1, 1845, to Miss 
Deborah Ann Bills, daughter of Abraham and Harriet (Johnson) 
Bills, of New Jersey. The following are the names of Mr. and 

Mrs. Collier's children now living: Susan, wife of Smith; 

Margie, wife of William Dark; John B.; Harriet B., wife of 

Farr, and Isaac. 

George Ccjtsinger, son of Samuel and Elizabeth Cutsinger, 
was born in Shelby County, Ind., on the 28th day of February, 
1843. He was educated in the country schools, and reared to agri- 
cultural pursuits, which he has always followed, beginning farm 
life for himself about the year 1866, in Jackson Township, Shelby 
Co. He afterward moved to Johnson County, where, after a short 
residence, he returned to Shelby, and at this time lives upon the 
paternal homestead, one of the best improved farms in the section 
where it is located. Mr. Cutsinger owns valuable lands in Johnson 
and Bartholomew counties, and in addition deals in thorough-bred 
horses and other fine live-stock. He is an industrious and intelli- 
gent man, and one of the leading citizens of the community in which 
he resides. Miss Matilda Miller, of Bartholomew County, daughter 
of Isaac and Anna Miller, became his wife on the 10th day of De- 
cember, 1863. Mr. and Mrs. Cutsinger have six children, whose 


names are as follows: Mollie W., wife of Prof. A. J. Loughery, of 
Edinburg; Kittie, wife of E. Wheatly; Frank M., Elizabeth D., 
and Roscoe. Mr. Cutsinger is a democrat in politics, but has never 
sought official honors at the hands of his fellow citizens. 

John M. Cutsinger, farmer and stock-raiser, and a member 
of one of the early pioneer families of Johnson County, was born 
in Blue River Township, on the 8th day of January, 1839. His 
father was Jacob Cutsinger, a native of Virginia, and an early set- 
tler of Johnson County, moving here some time before the county 
was organized. Jacob Cutsinger was a farmer and distiller, also a 
stock-raiser, in all of which he was very successful. He died in 
the vear 1852. John M. Cutsinger is the youngest of a family of 
seven children, two of whom, beside himself, are living, viz. : Will- 
iam and Mrs. Catherine A. Heiflan. He was reared to agricul- 
tural pursuits, and in time became a leading farmer of Blue River 
Township, where he now owns 120 acres of fine land, upon which 
are many valuable improvements. He deals largely in stock, and, 
in addition to his own land, farms other places, renting a good deal 
of ground. He is an energetic and enterprising citizen, and a con- 
sistent member of the Methodist Protestant Church, to which his 
wife also belongs. He was married in Bartholomew County, Ind., 
to Miss Imelda Carter, daughter of John S. and Sarah (Cook) 
Carter. To this union have been born the following children: 
Mrs. Ella J. Klein, Mrs. Sarah M. Furnas, Annie E., Samuel S., 
Thomas A., Tessie M., Homer C. and Floyd W. 

Martin Cutsinger, third son of Samuel and Elizabeth (Har- 
ris) Cutsinger, was born in Shelby County, Ind., on the 7th day of 
Februarv, 1856. He was reared to agricultural pursuits, received 
a good education, and began life as a farmer, in which calling he 
has been more than ordinarily successful, owning at this time one 
of the largest and best improved farms in the vicinity of Edinburg. 
Mr. Cutsinger's life has been characterized bv that energy and ag- 
gressiveness which marks the successful man, and as a reward of 
his well-directed business efforts, he stands to-day in the foremost 
rank of Johnson County's representative citizens. In connection 
with his farming interests, Mr. Cutsinger has given a great deal of 
attention to live-stock, and upon his beautiful farm, one mile north- 
east of Edinburg, are to be seen some of the finest short-horn cat- 
tle in this section of the state — some of which represent a capital 
of over $300 each. To his efforts is largely due the credit of 
awakening an interest in behalf of improved herds among the farm- 
ers of Johnson County, and upon all matters pertaining to the grow- 
ing of fine stock, he is an authority. Aside from his farming and 
stock interests, he is interested in the Edinburg Starch Works, own- 


ing a share in the factory, and takes an active interest in the success 
of the business. Mr. Cutsinger was united in marriage, May 4, 
1876, to Miss Charity N. Williams, of Bartholomew County, 
daughter of Claiborne Williams, one the prominent farmers and 
stock-raisers in this part of the state. Mr. and Mrs. Cutsinger 
are the parents of four children, three of whom are living, viz. : 
Homer, Clarence and Minnie Belle. 

Samuel Cutsinger, a prominent farmer, and one of the lead- 
ing business men of central Indiana, was born in Washington 
County, Ky., on the 25th day of June, 1820. Two years later the 
family came to Indiana, and settled in what is now Jackson Town- 
spip, Shelby County, where amid the active scenes and rugged du- 
ties of pioneer life the youthful years of our subject were passed. 
The family living in moderate circumstances, young Samuel was 
obliged to bear his part in the work of clearing and developing 
the farm, consequently his educational training was very limited, as 
but little time could be devoted to attendance at school. He early 
displayed rare business qualifications, however, and by much min- 
gling with men in after years acquired a practical education such as 
few possess. He remained with his parent until his marriage, which 
took place December 12, 1839, w **^ Elizabeth Harris, and then 
moved to Edinburg, where he had engaged in the mercantile busi- 
ness the year previous. Here he remained until 1S41, when he 
moved back to Jackson Township, and resumed farming which, 
with stock-raising, he has since carried on. Mrs. Cutsinger was 
born in Kentucky, September, 1820, and came to Shelby County, 
Ind., when but nine years of age. Thirteen children have been 
born to Mr. and Mrs. Cutsinger, namely: Mary, Jane, George, Ed- 
monson, Maria, Catherine, Ann, Hannah B., Martin, Indiana, Ivory H., 
Eleanor and William E. Of these, all are living with the excep- 
tion of the fifth daughter, Ann, and nearly all settled near their 
father's home. As a farmer and stock-raiser, Mr. Cutsinger has 
met with success such as few achieve, and in his business transac- 
tions has displayed financial ability of the highest order. Begin- 
ning life with little or no capital, he has so managed his affairs as 
to accumulate a large fortune, owning at this time over i,8oo 
acres of valuable land, besides having a large amount of capital in- 
vested in manufacturing enterprises at Edinburg and Franklin. 
He has made a great deal of money in stock, dealing extensively' 
in cattle and hogs, always making it a point to have them as large 
and fat as could be found in the market. Latterly he has dealt more 
in cattle, and fattens yearly from 200 to 250 head of choice steers. 
In 1869, Mr. Cutsinger, with three other business men, founded 
the Edinburg Starch Works, the largest enterprise of the kind in 



the state, and one of the largest in the United States west of the 
Alleghany Mountains. He has been the leading spirit of the en- 
terprise, and much of its success has been due to his able manage- 
ment and business foresight. Latterly he became identified with 
the starch works at Franklin, in which he has a large amount of 
capital invested. Both of these establishments are appropriately 
mentioned in another part of this volume. The better to look after 
his business interests, Mr. Cutsinger, in 1884, moved to Edinburg, 
where he has since resided, his residence here being one of the 
finest homes in the city. Politically, Mr. Cutsinger has always 
been an unswerving supporter of the democratic party, but he has 
never sought official honors at the hands of his fellow-citizens. 
Personally, he is very popular, and with true Kentucky hospitality 
believes in having as many of the - good things of this world as is 
consistent with a successful business career. In his wife he has se- 
cured a life partner who has always been a helper to him, and one 
well qualified to fill the duties of wife and mother. She seconds 
her husband in giving genuine welcome to all who have the good 
fortune to become the recipients of their hospitality, and is favor- 
ably known among a large circle of friends and acquaintances for 
her many excellent qualities. Mr. and Mrs. Cutsinger are active 
members of the Christian Church of Edinburg. 

Thomas H. Daily (deceased) was born December 4, 1841, 
in the town of Charlestown, Clark Co., Ind., and was a son 
of David W. and Mary A. (Shirley) Daily, natives respect- 
ively of Indiana and Kentucky. He was the youngest of a 
family of eleven children, seven of whom are living, and grew to 
manhood in his native county, in the common schools, of which he 
received the elements of an ordinary English education. When 
the war cloud gathered over the country in 1861, he responded to 
the call for volunteers, enlisting when but nineteen years of age, 
in Company D, Twenty-second Indiana Infantry, with which he 
served gallantly for a period of three years. He 'entered the ser- 
vice as a private, but soon obtained a lieutenant's commission, and 
later, was promoted captain, in which capacity he served on the staff of 
Gen. Jefferson C. Davis, between whom and himself there ex- 
isted an intimate friendship. He participated in a number of cam- 
paigns and battles, and was with his command through all its varied 
experiences in the service, during which time he gained the good 
will of his men and the confidence and esteem of his superiors in 
office. He passed safely through various engagements in which 
his command took a part, but was severely hurt by being thrown 
from his horse against a tree, the effect of which was materially to 


shorten his life. He was mustered out of the service at Atlanta, 
Ga., September 14, 1864, and on quitting the army he received through 
the interposition of a friend, the position of passenger conductor on 
the J., M. & I. Railroad without having to pass through the usual 
preliminaries and promotions required for such service. He ran 
a train for twelve years, but owing to physical disability superin- 
duced by the injury received while in the army, was finally com- 
pelled to abandon the road, which he did very reluctantly. For 
about three years and nine months previous to his death, Mr. Daily 
was a confirmed invalid, and during that time, his comfort and satis- 
faction was to meet and converse with his old army comrades and 
recall the scenes of his battles and campaigns in which they took 
part while in defence of the flag. He married September 27, 
1868, Miss Maggie Walsh, daughter of John Walsh, Esq., who 
shared with him the future vicissitudes of life, and who is now living 
at her home in the town of Edinburg. Mr. Daily died on the 3rd 
day of May, 1881, and was buried in his native town of Charles- 
town. He was a devoted member of the Catholic Church, in which 
faith his wife and children were also raised. Mr. and Mrs. Daily 
raised a family of three children, namely: Katie, born July 8, 1S69; 
Ella W., born January 4, 1872, and Maria, born November 25, 
1873, died February 28, 1880. Mrs. Daily has* looked carefully to 
the intellectual training of her children, Miss Katie being a gradu- 
ate of St. Mary's academy, an educational institution located near 
Terre Haute. The other daughter, Ella W., is pursuing her studies 
at the same school. 

Cassius W. Davis, the subject of this sketch, is a native of 
Cincinnati, Ohio, and the only living child of Moses and Elizabeth 
(Donnelly) Davis. Paternally, Mr. Davis is descended from En- 
glish ancestors, and upon the mother's side from Irish. He was 
born on the 28th day of November, 1852, and at the early age of 
sixteen began life for himself, choosing for his calling the carpenter's 
trade, at which he served a three years' apprenticeship. He began 
working at his trade in Edinburg, Ind., to which place he came in 
1866, and after following it several years, accepted a clerkship in 
the grocery house of Breeding & Bro., by whom he was employed 
until about the year 1883. He then became book-keeper for H. 
Maley & Co. (saw- andplaning-mill), a position he still holds. Mr. 
Davis is a careful and competent business man, and enjoys the con- 
fidence of the wealthy firm, by which he is employed. In addition 
to his clerical position, he is interested in the mercantile business, 
being one of the partners to the grocery store of Maley, Davis & 
Co. ' He was married in November, 1881, to Miss Ite Furgason, 


4 II 

a native of Johnson County, Ind., daughter of Frank and Mary 
Furgason, of Edinburg. Mr. Davis is a member of the K. of P. 
order, and with his wife belongs to the Christian Church. 

Miles DeCoursey, farmer, Blue River Township, was born 
in Nineveh Township, Johnson County, Ind., July 10, 1839, and is 
the youngest son of John and Phebe (Barnes) DeCoursey, natives 
of Kentucky, and of French and German descent, respectively. 
John and Phebe DeCoursey were married in Henry County, Ky., 
and in 1832 moved to Indiana, and settled in Johnson County,, 
where the father farmed for several years. He died February, 
1857, in Huntington County, where he moved five years before. 
Mrs. DeCoursey is still living, a remarkably well-preserved old 
lady of eighty-one. Mr. and Mrs. DeCoursey were the parents of 
seven children, three living, two in this county and one in Missouri. 
3The immediate subject of this biography was raised a farmer, and 
remained with his father until the latter's death. He resided for 
some years in Johnson, Morgan, Marion and Grant counties, and 
later returned to Johnson, settling in Blue River Township, where 
he owns a handsomely improved farm of seventy-two acres. 
August, 1861, Mr. DeCoursey enlisted in Company F, Seventh 
Indiana Volunteer Infantry, Col. Dumont's regiment, for the three 
years' service, but was discharged at the expiration of eighteen 
months, on account of physical disabilities. HeAvas with the regi- 
ment in the bloody battles of Greenbrier, Bull Run, South Moun- 
tain, Antietam, and several more engagements, in all of which he 
bore the part of a true and faithful soldier. His disability was of 
such a nature, that upon one occasion, at Frederick City, Md., his 
physicians abandoned all hopes of his recovery, and sent the tidings 
of his death to his mother. January 20. 1868, Mr. DeCoursey 
and Miss Hannah Mitchell, daughter of Joseph Mitchell, were 
united in marriage. To this union have been born four children, 
viz. : John W., Arthur I., Minnie G. and Ernst, all living at home. 

D. L. Deming, the subject of this biography, was born in 
the town of Edinburg, Ind., August 27, 1854, an< ^ • a son °* B. J. 
and Heppy Deming, of English and German descent, respectively. 
The father was for some years a prominent merchant of Edinburg, 
but is now engaged in agricultural pursuits in Bartholomew County. 
He has been twice married, his first wife, whose maiden name was 
Sallie White, and by whom he had one child. He afterward mar- 
ried her sister, Heppy White, who has borne him five children, 
three living, whose names are as follows: Clara, wife of John A. 
Thompson, Mary, and D. L., the subject of this sketch. D. L. 
Deming was raised in Bartholomew County, and received a com- 
mon school education, supplemented by one year's attendance at 


Butler University, Irvington, Ind., where he graduated in the com- 
mercial course. On quitting school he accepted a clerkship in the 
dry goods house of John Walsh, Edinburg, and after spending one 
year in his employ, accepted a similar position with John A. Carvin, 
with whom he remained five years. Severing his connection with 
his employer, Mr. Deming next engaged in business for himself, 
dealing in agricultural implements in Edinburg, with an interest in 
the same kind of a house in Franklin. He carried on a very suc- 
cessful business until quite recently, when he sold out both stores. 
He owns a fine farm in Nineveh Township, a good property in 
Edinburg, and is justly considered one of the substantial and ener- 
getic citizens of Johnson County. Politically, he wields an influ- 
ence for the republican party, but has never aspired to political 
honors, preferring to spend his time and talents in other directions. 
He is a member of the I. O. O. F., belonging to the lodge in Edin- 
burg. October n, 1882, he solemnized his marriage with Miss 
Mary, daughter of Peter J. and Mary (Brewer) Banta, one of the 
oldest and most highly esteemed families of the county. The fruits 
of this union are two children, namely: Byron J. and Edwin L. 

Abraham Deupree (deceased) was a native of Kentucky, 
born in Nicholas County, that state, on the 17th day of June, 1811. 
His paternal ancestors were French Huguenots, and the family 
history can be traced back through many generations to the mas- 
sacre of St. Bartholomew, in which so many protestants lost their 
lives. Two members of the family escaped from France, shortly 
after the massacre, and making their way through England, came 
to America, and settled in the colony of Virginia. The descendents 
of these two brothers subsequently emigrated to North Carolina 
and Kentucky, and from the laiter state the father of the subject 
of this sketch, came to Indiana in 1822, and located near the pres- 
ent site of Edinburg. Soon after the family's arrival in the new 
country, the father died, leaving a widow and five small children. 
Abraham at this time was a mere youth, of twelve or thirteen 
years. Thus early deprived of his father he was, obliged to make 
his own way in life, and impressed with the necessity of an education 
he attended such schools as the county afforded, until he was able to 
teach. For some years he taught school during the winter seasons, 
and worked on the farm the rest of the year, and by prudent man- 
agement succeeded in laying the foundation for the comfortable 
competence, with which his later life was blessed. In 1833, he 
married Hannah B. Carter, daughter of Nathan and Elizabeth 
(Leonard) Carter, of New Jersey, who bore him seven children, 
six of whom are now living. He became a member of the Christian 


Church of Edinburg, at the time of its organization in 1834, as did 
also his wife, and until his death was an earnest and consistent Chris- 
tian, having been licensed to preach in the year 1840. Although he 
never excelled as a public speaker, yet his talents were far above 
mediocrity, and by his earnest efforts in behalf of the church, did as 
much, if not more than any other member, to place it upon its present 
substantial footing. He was a strict temperance man, abstained from 
the use of tobacco and intoxicants in all their forms; and shrank 
not from the performance of any duty for the bettering of the con- 
dition of his fellow man. He left to mourn his loss, a widow, five 
children, and sixteen grand-children. Mrs. Deupree joined the 
church the same time as her husband, and is the only charter mem- 
ber of the Edinburg congregation, now living. 

John E. Deupree, son of Abraham and Elizabeth Deupree, 
was born in Shelby County, Ind., on the 23d of June, 1840. He 
was reared in Johnson County, grew to manhood on a farm, and at 
the age of twenty-two, with the spirit that animated the patriotic 
3'oung men of the north, he entered the army as a member of the 
Third Indiana Cavalry. He served three years and one month, 
and bore the part of a brave and gallant soldier on many bloody 
battle fields, and was twice wounded — at Knoxville, Tenn., March, 
1864, in the left shoulder, and at Goldsborough, N. C, 1865, in the 
left shoulder blade, where the bullet still remains, the latter 
wound disabling and unfitting him for active duties in the field. 
He was discharged May, 1865, and immediately thereafter returned 
to Johnson County and engaged in farming in Blue River Town- 
ship, where he has since resided. He manages the home farm and 
looks after the interest of his mother, who is an old lady of seventy- 
five. He owns land in Shelby County, and has met with reasonable 
success as a farmer and stock-raiser, being a! this time one of the 
well-to-do citizens of the community in which he resides. Novem- 
ber, 1865, he was united in marriage to Miss Mary A. Kennedy, 
by whom he had one child, who died in infancy. Mrs. Deupree died 
in the year 1872, and on the 9th day of August, 1874, Mr. Deupree 
married Miss Elsie Allen, who has borne him three children, viz.: 
Marth E., Alpha A., and Avery E. Mr. and Mrs. Deupree are 
members of the Christian Church. 

James H. Dorsey, attorney at law, Edinburg, was born at the 
town of St. Paul, Shelby'County, Ind., August 28, i860, and is a 
son of Dr. James and Lydia A. (Hart) Dorsey. The father was 
a native of New Jersey, but in early youth was taken by his par- 
ents to Butler County, Ohio, where he grew to manhood. He 
was a physician of extensive practice, and during a long and varied 
professional experience earned the reputation of one of the most 


successful medical men of southern Indiana, having moved to this 
state a number of years ago. He began the practice of his profes- 
sion in Shelby County, and until his death, in March, 1862, com- 
manded a large and lucrative business in the counties of Shelby 
and Decatur. Lydia A. Hart, wife of Dr. Dorsey, was descended 
from Scotch ancestry, on the father's side, and maternally from Irish. 
Some years after the death of her husband, she married Robert 
Armstrong, of Edinburg, who departed this life in 1873, leaving one 
daughter, viz.: Mary Armstrong. By her first marriage Mrs. 
Armstrong had two children, the subject of this sketch being the 
younger. James H. Dorsey was reared principally in Johnson 
County, Ind., and at the age of seventeen graduated with honors 
from the Edinburg high school, delivering the valedictory address 
upon the occasion. He afterward became a student of Moore's 
Hill College, in which he completed the prescribed course, his 
grades of examination during the period of his attendance averag- 
ing ninety per cent., the maximum of the institution. Impressed 
with a strong desire to enter the legal profession, Mr. Dorsey read 
law as opportunities would admit, under the instruction of William 
A. Johnson, and after obtaining a knowledge of the profession, was 
admitted to the bar in 1881, being at the time barely twenty-one 
years of age. He began the practice in Edinburg, with the late 
C. W. Snow, Esq., and soon succeeded in establishing quite a 
profitable business, which he subsequently discontinued, and re- 
moved to Colby County, Kan., where he was for some time en- 
gaged in the real estate and abstract business. Owing to the poor 
health of his wife he was compelled to leave Kansas, and return to 
Indiana, where he has since resided in the enjoyment of a lucrative 
practice in the courts of Johnson and other counties, being at this 
time city attorney of Edinburg. Politically, Mr. Dorsey wields an 
influence for the republican party, and in his professional and social 
relations, enjoys in a large measure the respect and confidence of 
his fellow citizens. Miss Adda, daughter of Alexander and Re- 
becca (Thompson) Breeding, became his wife on the 10th day of 
September, 1881, a union blessed with the birth of two children,, 
namely: Howard A. and Fred J. Mrs. Dorsey died on the 12th 
day of April, 1885, and lies buried in the Edinburg cemetery. 

Martin V. Ensley, retired farmer, is a native of Shelby 
County, Ind., born on the 19th day of December, 1830. Isaac 
Ensley, the father of Martin V. Ensley, was born in New York,, 
and accompanied his parents to Shelby County, Ind., where he grew 
to manhood. He married, in that county, Martha A. Brown, 
daughter of Harvey and Patience Brown, who were among the 
earliest settlers in Jackson Township. Isaac and Patience Ens- 



ley were the parents of the following children, viz.: Pauline, 
Bailor and Martin V., the subject, being the only member of the 
family now living. Mr. Ensley died in 1832. Mrs. Ensley subse- 
quently married Hugh Smiley, an early school-teacher of Johnson 
County. She departed this life in May, 1842. Being thus early 
deprived of his only friend and protector, young Martin Ensley was 
placed under the especial care of a guardian, John J. Lewis, and for 
two or three years thereafter, was compelled to work from place 
to place by the month, in order to obtain a livelihood. In 1849, 
when nineteen years of age, he began farming for himself on the 
old home place, and on March 21, 185 1, he was united in marriage 
with Miss Lydia Smock, daughter of Henry and Sarah (Burch) 
Smock, a union blessed with the birth of four children, namely: 
Sarah, wife of William H. Jones; W. A.; Rachel, wife of George 
Lewis, and Emma, wife of Byron Duffey. Mr. Ensley has made 
the pursuit of agriculture a life work, and has been more than or- 
dinarily successful in his chosen calling. He has added to his 
farm until he has become the owner of several valuable tfacts of 
real estate, some of which he divided among his children. He still 
owns the old farm of 280 acres in Jackson Township, Shelby 
County. In 1881, Mr. Ensley retired from active life, since which 
time he has been a resident of Edinburg. He is a democrat in 
politics, and since 1876, has been an active member of the Metho- 
dist Church. His first wife died in August, 1877, and on the 20th 
day of November, 1879, ms second marriage was ^solemnized with 
Miss Selina Varner, of Hamilton County, Ohio, daughter of 
Thomas and Martha (Lefeber) Varner. Thomas and Martha Var- 
ner were early residents of the above county and state, and were 
the parents of the following children, viz.: Saline, Eliza, Sarah 
(deceased), Amanda, and T. Henry Varner. By his second mar- 
riage, Mr. Ensley is the father of one child, to wit: Edgar E. Ensley. 
J. D. Fee, the subject of this sketch, is descended from Scotch 
ancestry, the original name being McDuffie, by which a well-known 
clan in the early history of Scotland, was known. The clan 
McDuffie was. early subjected to religious persecution, in conse- 
quence of which the majority of that name were compelled to flee 
their native country and take refuge in Ireland, where in time the 
name became changed to McFee. Still later, the clan was iepre- 
sented in England, where the name subsequently became anglicized 
to Fee, by which it has been known since about the year 1700. 
In 1780, several representatives of the Fee family came to Amer- 
ica and settled in Pennsylvania, thence later to Kentucky, where, 
as early as 1798, the name was well-known among the settlers of 
Maysville and Boone's Fort. The ancestors of J. D. Fee were 


among the early pioneers of Clermont County, Ohio, where his 
grandfather, Rev. Elijah Fee, acquired some celebrity as a minister 
of the Methodist Episcopal Church. Jacob and Elizabeth (Cam- 
rey) Fee, parents of J. D., were both natives of Clermont County, 
Ohio. They had a family of eleven children, nine of whom are 
now living, j. D. being the youngest. The subject was born in the 
town of Moscow, Clermont County, Ohio, March 3, 1841, and re- 
ceived a practical education in the schools of his native town. He 
was raised on a farm, and remained under the parental roof until 
the age of seventeen, when he entered the army, enlisting August 
1, 1862, in Company D, Second Ohio Artillery, with which he 
served two years. During that time he took part in several active 
campaigns, and bore a gallant part in some of the bloodiest battles 
of the war, including Shiloh, Stone River, Lookout Mountain, 
Nashville, and numerous minor engagements. At the expiration 
of his term of service, he was honorably discharged, and imme- 
diately thereafter returned to his native county, and engaged in 
farming, which he followed about two years. In the spring of 
1868, he came to Edinburg, where, until 1888, his principal busi- 
ness was painting and paper hanging. In February, of the latter year, 
he purchased' an interest in the hardware store of L. Compton, and 
the firm of Compton & Fee is now one of the leading business firms 
of the city. They carry a large assortment of general hardware, 
tinware and stoves, their stock representing a value of $6,000. 
Mr. Fee is an active member of the G. A. R., I. O. O. F., and 
W. O. H., and in politics supports the principles of the republican 
party. He has always manifested a live interest in municipal af- 
fairs, and is at this time a member of the town board of Edinburg. 
November, 1866, he married Miss Hattie A. Parker, daughter of 
James E. and Catherine Parker, of Clermont County, Ohio. Mr. 
and Mrs. Fee are members of the Edinburg Methodist Episcopal 

Thomas B. Forelander was born in Monroe County, Va., 
October 31, 1824, and is a son of Lewis and Susan (Sparr) Fore- 
lander. Paternally, Mr. Forelander is descended from Dutch an- 
cestry, his father having been born in Holland. On his mother's 
side he is of German lineage, although his mother was a native of 
Pennsylvania. Lewis Forelander was a tanner by trade, and fol- 
lowed his calling for a number of years in Pennsylvania, in which 
state his death occurred. His widow afterward emigrated to Ohio, 
thence later to Indiana, in several counties of which she lived at 
different times, mainly Union, Henry, Hancock and Johnson, moving 
to the last named in 1838. Mr. and Mrs. Forelander have a family 
of four children, two of whom: Catherine, wife of J. D. Collier, 


and Thomas B., are now living. Thomas B. Forelander remained 
with his mother until her death. He early learned the milling 
trade in Johnson County, and did his first work in John A. Thomp- 
son's mills, at Edinburg, where he continued several years. He 
has followed milling all his life, principally in Johnson County, and 
has the reputation of being one of the best millers in this section of 
the state. He has been an honored resident of Johnson County for 
half a century, and during that long period of residence no shadow 
of suspicion has been breathed against his good name or Christian 
character. He is an active member of the church, an uncompro- 
mising advocate of temperance reform, and a republican in politics. 
In i860, he was united in marriage with Miss America, daughter 
of Joseph and Sarah (Ruffin) Spicer, who were born in the States 
of North Carolina and Kentucky, respectively. Mrs. Forelander 
was born in Johnson County, Ind., and is the mother of five child- 
ren, two of whom are living, viz. : Susie and William L. Forelander. 
Mr. Forelander is at this time assessor of .Blue River Township. 

J. P. Frost (deceased), whose biographical sketch is here- 
with presented, was a native of Ohio, Richland County, born on the 
8th day of March, 1823. In early life he learned the trade of car- 
pentering and cabinet-making, in the city of Mansfield, Ohio, and 
after becoming proficient in the same, emigrated to Trimble County, 
Ky., where he followed